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PSNet: Patient Safety Network

Unity of Mistakes: A Phenomenological Interpretation of Medical Work.

Paget MA

In this often described landmark text on the nature of medical error, Marianne Paget uses a detailed series of physician interviews to illustrate the complexities of mistakes in medicine. She carefully describes the language associated with concepts such as mistake, fault, negligence, and blame. She provides a thoughtful and provocative analysis of these clinical events and probes how physicians think about their mistakes, including the associated psychological burden in confronting them. The large number of actual transcripts shared throughout her text creates opportunities to get inside the head of well-intentioned physicians who struggle with avoiding mistakes.