Physicians Coping with Medical Error

Physicians Coping with Medical Error

To learn more about the topics presented in the PBS documentary "Choosing Wisdom", please explore the resources below.


UVA Wisdom Through Adversity

Medical Error, module



Berlinger N. After Harm: Medical Error and the Ethics of Forgiveness. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.

Bosk C. Forgive and Remember: Managing Medical Failure. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1981.

Plews-Ogan M, Owens JE, May N. Choosing Wisdom: Strategies and Inspiration for Growing through Life-Changing Difficulties. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press, 2012.

Rosenthal M, Sutcliffe K (Eds.). Medical Error: What Do We Know? What Do We Do? John Wiley & Sons, 2000.

Truog RD, Browning DM, Johnson JA, Gallagher TH. Talking with Patients and Families about Medical Error: A Guide for Education and Practice. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.


Becker D, May NB, Plews-Ogan M. Forgive me: medical error and the poetics of forgiveness. Perspect Biol Med 2012;55:339-349.

Bell SK, Moorman DW, Delbanco T. Improving the patient, family, and clinician experience after harmful events: the "when things go wrong" curriculum. Acad Med 2010;85:1010-1017.

Christensen J, Levinson W, Dunn PM. The heart of darkness: the impact of perceived mistakes on physicians. JGIM 1992;7:424-431.

Delbanco T, Bell S. Guilty, afraid and alone: struggling with medical error. NEJM 2007;17:1682-1684.

Engel KG, Rosenthal M, Sutcliffe KM. Residents’ responses to medical error: coping, learning and change. Acad Med 2006;81:86-93.

Fischer M, et al. Learning from mistakes: Factors that influence how students and residents learn from medical errors. JGIM 2006;21:419-423.

Gallagher T, Lucas MH. Should we disclose harmful medical errors to patients? If so, how? JCOM 2005;12;5: 253-259.

Gallagher TH, Studder LB, Levinson W. Disclosing harmful medical errors to patients. NEJM 2007;356;26: 2713-19.

Gallagher TH, Waterman AD, Ebers AG, Fraser VJ, Levinson W. Patients’ and physicians’ attitudes regarding the disclosure of medical errors. JAMA 2003;289;8:1001-07.

Ofri D. Ashamed to admit it: owning up to medical error. Health Affairs 2010;29:1549-1551.

May N, Plews-Ogan M. The role of talking (and keeping silent) in physician coping with medical error: a qualitative study. Patient Educ Counseling 2012;88:449-454.

Quirk M, Mazor K, Haley H, Philbin M, Fischer M, Sullivan K, Hatem D. How patients perceive a doctor’s caring attitude. Patient Educ Counseling 2008;72:359-366.

Scott SD, Hirschinger LE, Cox KR, McCoig M, Hahn-Cover K, Epperly KM, Phillips EC, Hall LW. Caring for our own: deploying a system wide second victim rapid response team. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf 2010;36:233-40.

Shannon SE, Foglia MB, Hardy M, Gallagher T. Disclosing Errors to Patients: Perspectives of Registered Nurses. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf 2009;35:5-12.

Van Pelt F. Peer support: healthcare professionals supporting each other after adverse medical events. Qual Saf Healthcare 2008:17:249-252.

West C, Huschka M, et al. Association of perceived medical errors with resident distress and empathy. JAMA 2006;296:1071-78.

White AA, Bell SK, Krauss MJ, Garbutt J, Dunagan WC, Fraser VJ, Levinson W, Larson EB, Gallagher TH. How trainees would disclose medical errors: educational implications for training programmes. Med Educ 2011;45:372-380.

Wu AW, Folkman S, McPhee SJ, Lo B. Do house officers learn from their mistakes? JAMA 1991;265:2089-2094.

Wu A. Medical error, the second victim: the doctor who makes the mistake needs help, too. BMJ 2000;320:726-727.