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Medical mistakes

Five senior doctors write about learning from errors, and the rise of the patient safety movement

  • Published: 11 December 2012
  • DOI: 10.1136/sbmj.e7882
  • Cite this as: BMJ 2012;20:e7882

In 2005, the UK’s National Patient Safety Agency produced a booklet entitled Medical Error. It aimed to bring patient safety to the attention of junior doctors and to give advice on avoiding errors in patient care and dealing with them when they did occur. Perhaps the most eye catching and noted part of the booklet was a section entitled, My Mistake, in which, for the first time, senior and influential doctors talked openly about errors that they had made, each recounting a mistake and what they had learnt from it. As part of our themed issue on patient safety, we are here republishing four of those stories, with a new introduction for the Student BMJ by Liam Donaldson, World Health Organization envoy for patient safety and former chief medical officer for England, who explains why medical students should care about patient safety.

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