Pediatric resident education about medical errors

Kathleen E. Walsh, Marlene R. Miller, Robert J. Vinci, Howard Bauchner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background. - National organizations have called for patient safety curricula to help reduce the incidence of errors. Little is known about what trainees are taught about medical errors. Objective. - 1) To determine the amount and type of training that pediatric residents have about medical errors and 2) to assess pediatric chief resident knowledge about medical errors. Methods. - We surveyed chief residents from a national sample of 51 pediatric training programs by selecting every fourth program from the American Council on Graduate Medical Education list of accredited programs. The 21-item telephone survey was developed with patient safety specialists and piloted on several chief residents. It asked about patient-safety training sessions and awareness and knowledge about medical errors. Results. - The 51 chief residents helped teach 2176 residents, approximately one third of all pediatric residents. One third of programs had no lectures about medical errors and 23% did not have morbidity and mortality rounds. Sixty-one percent of respondents stated that outpatient medical errors were rarely discussed. Informal teaching was most often reported as the primary method for educating residents about medical errors. Although 58% of respondents did not know that a systemic change should be made in response to a medical error, 83% felt that residents are adequately trained to deal with a medical error. Discussion. - Pediatric resident education about medical errors varies widely. Attention by pediatric residency training programs to this important issue seems limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-517
Number of pages4
JournalAmbulatory Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Education
  • Medical errors
  • Patient safety
  • Pediatric resident

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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