Just 40 per cent of doctors said they would openly admit when errors had taken place, a new study has discovered.
The rest said they would either hide the mistake behind terms such as "an adverse event", or, in 20 per cent of cases, not mention the error at all.
Doctors who either felt more responsible for the error, or were Canadian, were more likely to admit when a mistake had happened. Researchers found that Canadian doctors were more honest than those from any other country. They did invent the Mounties, after all.
(Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2006; 166: 1585-93).
E-news broadcast 19 October 2006 No.302 [Subscribe]