Female residents experiencing medical errors in general internal medicine: a qualitative study.

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State: Serval
Version: author
Serval ID
serval:BIB_0C05577581F5
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
Female residents experiencing medical errors in general internal medicine: a qualitative study.
Journal
Bmc Medical Education
Author(s)
Mankaka C.O., Waeber G., Gachoud D.
ISSN
1472-6920 (Electronic)
ISSN-L
1472-6920
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2014
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
14
Number
1
Pages
140
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: epublish PDF: Research Article
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Doctors, especially doctors-in-training such as residents, make errors. They have to face the consequences even though today's approach to errors emphasizes systemic factors. Doctors' individual characteristics play a role in how medical errors are experienced and dealt with. The role of gender has previously been examined in a few quantitative studies that have yielded conflicting results. In the present study, we sought to qualitatively explore the experience of female residents with respect to medical errors. In particular, we explored the coping mechanisms displayed after an error. This study took place in the internal medicine department of a Swiss university hospital.
METHODS: Within a phenomenological framework, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight female residents in general internal medicine. All interviews were audiotaped, fully transcribed, and thereafter analyzed.
RESULTS: Seven main themes emerged from the interviews: (1) A perception that there is an insufficient culture of safety and error; (2) The perceived main causes of errors, which included fatigue, work overload, inadequate level of competences in relation to assigned tasks, and dysfunctional communication; (3) Negative feelings in response to errors, which included different forms of psychological distress; (4) Variable attitudes of the hierarchy toward residents involved in an error; (5) Talking about the error, as the core coping mechanism; (6) Defensive and constructive attitudes toward one's own errors; and (7) Gender-specific experiences in relation to errors. Such experiences consisted in (a) perceptions that male residents were more confident and therefore less affected by errors than their female counterparts and (b) perceptions that sexist attitudes among male supervisors can occur and worsen an already painful experience.
CONCLUSIONS: This study offers an in-depth account of how female residents specifically experience and cope with medical errors. Our interviews with female residents convey the sense that gender possibly influences the experience with errors, including the kind of coping mechanisms displayed. However, we acknowledge that the lack of a direct comparison between female and male participants represents a limitation while aiming to explore the role of gender.
Pubmed
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
08/08/2014 18:59
Last modification date
08/05/2019 14:18
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