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How can improving medical education reduce doctor’s errors?

Each year, at least a quarter of a million individuals die as a result of medical malpractice. At least 2.5 million are injured in similar types of incidents.

Data published by the National Institutes of Health in 2007 suggested that 43 percent of such instances take place right in a physician’s office. A new study published by a professor and doctor at Boston University School of Medicine suggests that reducing the occurrence rate of such incidents may start with improving the education medical professionals receive.

The author of the study suggests that the first step to reducing the occurrence rate of medical negligence is to have every medical student sit for a risk management exam and receive a certificate right before they graduate.

Next, he suggests that it’s important to have all those who complete their residencies three years later to re-certify in order to continue practicing medicine on their own. He then notes that he’d require physicians to re-take such an exam online every couple of years when they attempt to renew their medical license.

When asked how having such standards in place would impact medical negligence rates, the study’s author noted that a lot can be learned by doctors seeing where things went wrong. He notes that veteran doctors can always benefit from refreshers on steps necessary to make a proper diagnosis as well. He notes that this is particularly important since this is the reason that 30 percent of medical malpractice cases are filed.

He also argued that medical schools nor legislators require doctors to undergo such training as a condition of maintaining their licenses.

It’s because of this that he argues that the best patients can do in this era is to always accompany themselves with an advocate when seeking out medical care. That person, he argues, should not just watch what a doctor does, but also ask questions about why tests are being ordered and what conclusions will be able to be made by having them run.

Doctors failing to diagnose is a serious problem. Patients whose cancer, heart attacks or strokes go untreated face an increased risk for significant injury or death. Your Chicago medical malpractice attorney will tell you that one of the only ways that our legal system protects victims of such errors is by filing a civil lawsuit for damages in your case.

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