Healthcare News & Insights

Report: Medical schools fall short on teaching patient safety

A new report claims doctors-in-training aren’t being taught the skills they need to create truly safe environments for patients.

That’s the conclusion of a new report by the Lucian Leape Institute at the National Patient Safety Foundation. The report says most medical schools fall short in two key ways:

  • They don’t teach the science behind patient safety, and
  • They’re not helping medical students develop the interpersonal skills they need to work in teams and communicate patient safety issues.

The report makes 12 specific recommendations for medical schools to improve, built around three key goals:

  1. Teaching patient safety as a basic science, and ensuring students develop the requisite interpersonal/communication skills by having them work in teams with other health professionals in nursing, pharmacy, etc.
  2. Creating learning cultures that are less hierarchical, emphasize patient safety and encourage collaborative, professional behavior. This would include a zero tolerance policy for seriously disrespectful or abusive behavior.
  3. Using faculty development programs to better enable faculty to develop the needed skills to aid their students in the above goals.

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