Health Highlights: Dec. 4, 2007
...Many U.S. Doctors Don't Report Colleagues: Study
While 96 percent of American doctors believe they should report incompetent or impaired colleagues, only 55 percent of those with direct personal knowledge of such doctors always did so in the previous three years, according to a survey of 1,662 doctors conducted between November 2003 and June 2004.
The survey also found that 93 percent of respondents said doctors should always alert authorities when they see other doctors make serious medical errors, but only 54 percent said they always did so in the previous three years,USA Todayreported.
The findings appear in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
The survey of cardiologists, family physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists and pediatricians found that cardiologists were least likely to say they always reported a serious medical error. Cardiologists and family doctors were least likely to report an impaired or incompetent colleague,USA Todayreported.
"The intent of the paper was not to criticize but to highlight the areas for improvement," said senior author David Blumenthal, a Harvard internist who directs Massachusetts General Hospital's Institute for Health Policy...