Tired, Stressed Docs Make More Mistakes, Study Finds

Posted on September 23rd, 2009 by Kelley Luckstein

Fatigue isn't the only contributor to medical errors among medical residents. A new study finds that financial woes, family concerns and other elements of distress also play a major role in potentially fatal mistakes.docs-in-or-1

 

Fatigue and distress among doctors are known causes of medical errors, but Mayo Clinic researchers say that theirs is the first study to show how each contributes to mistakes. And they recommend that distress be considered independently of fatigue when new training guidelines are considered.

 

"Changes to the process of physician training should address both resident fatigue and distress to improve resident and patient safety as both factors independently increase the risk of self-reported major medical errors," said lead researcher Dr. Colin P. West, a internist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

 

HealthDay News by Steven Reinberg,

 

Additional coverage:

JAMA

US News & World Report

Atlanta Journal

Tags: fatigue, General Internal Medicine, stress

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