Medical schools are not doing an adequate job of teaching “basic knowledge and the development of skills required for the provision of safe patient care,” according to “Unmet Needs: Teaching Physicians to Provide Safe Patient Care,” a report issued by the National Patient Safety Foundation's Lucian Leape Institute.
Med schools weak on instilling patient-safety skills, Leape report says
The report, which summarized the discussions of a 40-person roundtable that met in October 2008 and June 2009, includes 12 recommendations and two major points, according to the institute's namesake, Lucian Leape, a Harvard School of Public Health adjunct professor of health policy.
The more obvious point is that medical schools need to do a better job of teaching the science of patient safety, such as the role of human-factors engineering and related patient-safety communication and collaboration skills, Leape said at a news conference. The less obvious point, he said is that “too often, the students are being educated in a toxic environment” where some 5% of physicians who mistreat residents, students and nurses are allowed to “poison the well” with a shame-and-blame culture that perpetuates medical errors.
John Prescott, the chief academic officer with the Association of American Medical Colleges, also spoke at the conference and said that, “Educating new doctors about patient safety is a top priority” of his organization and that many of the report's recommendations have already been implemented.
Another speaker was Harvard Medical School student Jordan Bohnen, who said that there is little teamwork training and that “public belittling or humiliation” of students is still common in teaching hospitals.
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