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Surgery error leads doc to public mea culpa

msnbc.com, November 11, 2010

A Boston surgeon who performed the wrong procedure on the hand of an elderly woman has disclosed the excruciating details of his error in one of the nation's most prominent medical journals.

Dr. David C. Ring, a hand and arm surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, described in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine how a series of personal and system-wide mistakes led him to operate incorrectly on the hand of a 65-year-old woman with a painful “trigger finger.”

“Just imagine the worst thing that’s ever happened to you and that’s how it feels,” said Ring, 42, of the surgery mistake that occurred about two years ago. "I don't want anybody to make the same mistake I made."

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