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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Disclosing medical errors to patients: attitudes and practices of physicians and trainees.

Kaldjian LC, Jones EW, Wu BJ, et al. Journal of general internal medicine. 2007;22:988-96.

Prior research has demonstrated that patients desire full disclosure of medical errors, but physicians often "choose their words carefully," failing to openly discuss errors with patients. This study surveyed faculty physicians, residents, and medical students at four academic medical centers regarding their experiences and attitudes toward disclosing errors. While nearly all physicians supported full error disclosure in theory, more than 20% admitted failing to report an error to a patient under their care. The study also explores factors associated with willingness to disclose errors.