Study finds link between depression in physicians and medical errors

Residency Program Insider, December 16, 2019

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According to a recent study, physicians exhibiting symptoms of depression are more likely to make medical errors. Researchers drew this conclusion after reviewing 11 studies involving more than 21,000 physicians. The results of these studies showed that physicians who screened positive for depression were highly likely to report committing medical errors.

The study also showed that the relationship between depression and perceived medical errors is bidirectional: Not only are physicians who exhibit symptoms of depression more likely to be associated with future medical errors, physicians who commit medical errors are more likely to be associated with depressive symptoms in the future.

“Given that few physicians with depression seek treatment and that recent evidence has pointed to the lack of organizational interventions aimed at reducing physician depressive symptoms, our findings underscore the need for institutional policies to remove barriers to the delivery of evidence-based treatment to physicians with depression,” the study authors wrote.

The study’s findings further emphasize the connection between physician well-being and high-quality care and also highlight the importance of prioritizing physician wellness in healthcare.

Source: Fierce Healthcare

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