• Commentary
  • Published December 2015

A piece of my mind. From shame to guilt to love.

While numerous studies have examined the psychological impact of error on residents, most safety improvement programs concentrate on technical aspects of safety. This commentary calls for devoting attention to the emotional components of patient safety. The authors discuss how residents respond to errors and describe how reactions from supervisors can elicit shame or guilt. They advocate for a more compassionate response that helps trainees understand and address such failures and focus on actions to reduce risks to future patients. They also recommend that attending physicians and other leaders learn to avoid language that evokes shame. A previous PSNet interview discussed the second victim phenomenon.

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