Misdiagnosis is one of the most common medical mistakes. According to the
latest statistics, missed, incorrect or delayed diagnoses account for
approximately 20 percent of all
Even more concerning, research funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research
and Quality revealed that 28 percent of 583 diagnostic mistakes reported
anonymously by doctors were life-threatening or had resulted in death
or permanent disability. With this in mind, we are very interested in
the results of a new study that found working in pairs reduced diagnostic
medical errors by medical students.
“Diagnostic errors contribute substantially to preventable medical
error. Cognitive error is among the leading causes and mostly results
from faulty data synthesis,” noted Wolf E. Hautz, M.D., of the Charité
Campus Mitte and Campus Virchow Klinikum in Berlin, and colleagues.
Medscape.com reports, the researchers asked 88 student volunteers to evaluate six simulated
cases of respiratory distress on a computer and make a diagnosis for each
case. The medical students either worked in pairs or alone.
The results revealed that paired students made correct diagnoses 67.78
percent of the time compared with 50.00 percent of the time for students
who worked solo, despite having comparable knowledge about the topic and
selecting an equal number of diagnostic tests. Pairs were also more confident
in their results.
“[C]ollaboration may have helped correct errors, fill knowledge gaps,
and counteract reasoning flaws,” the study concludes.
If you or someone you love has suffered from a medical error, don’t
contact a San Diego medical malpractice attorney
at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.