Community Hospitals
Intelligence Unit Special Reports Special Events Subscribe Sponsored Departments Follow Us

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn RSS

Why doctors stay mum about mistakes their colleagues make

ProPublica, November 11, 2013

Patients don't always know when their doctor has made a medical error. But other doctors do. A few years ago I called a Las Vegas surgeon because I had hospital data showing which of his peers had high rates of surgical injuries – things like removing a healthy kidney, accidentally puncturing a young girl's aorta during an appendectomy and mistakenly removing part of a woman's pancreas. I wanted to see if he could help me investigate what happened. But the surgeon surprised me. Before I could get a question out, he started rattling off the names of surgeons he considered the worst in town.