According to a new report, many doctors suggest they often see an error committed by another physician but largely do not report it, even though some estimates place medical errors near the top of the list of causes of death in New York and around the country. In some cases the doctors do not even inform patients of the medical errors committed by other doctors.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently released a report claiming the problem may be very common in the medical field. The author of the study says that most doctors believe that they should tell patients about errors they have made, but, when the subject turns to informing patients of another physician's mistake, the subject becomes less clear. The reasons doctors may not disclose these issues range from the risk of losing referrals by other physicians to not being fully informed regarding the alleged error. The report also suggests that social aspects, such as seniority or cultural differences, may affect how doctors handle the mistakes of others.