Medical errors – Third largest cause of death in the United States

January 11, 2010

What an alarming statistic. Medical error follows heart disease and cancer. the American College of Surgeons for a study led by researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Mayo Clinic, and 7,905 surgeons responded confidentially to a series of questions that measured three elements of burnout: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization–treating patients as objects rather than seeing them as human beings–and personal accomplishment. Other questions screened for depression. The investigation found that nearly 9 percent, or 700 surgeons, admitted to having made a major mistake within the previous three months. More than 70 percent blamed themselves for the error, not the medical system. And mistakes varied by specialty–a surgeon working in obstetrics/gynecology and plastic surgery was much less likely to report an error than a general surgeon.