According to a new report that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors often see mistakes made by other physicians but do not report them. While the medical community largely believes that a doctor should take responsibility for personal errors, the report suggests that the medical field does not foster feedback and criticism among healthcare professionals even though more than half of the physicians surveyed said that they noticed at least one error made by another doctor.
The report explores the reasons why a doctor may not confront another concerning mistakes. According to the study, doctors who criticize others may be subjected to financial penalties such as a decline in referrals, and others may wish to avoid becoming a part of a medical malpractice lawsuit. More factors suggested by the study include social hierarchies related to seniority as well as differences in race, gender and cultural background.