Apologetic physicians earn higher rankings, but still may be sued

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

September 23, 2009

A recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that physicians who were apologetic about committing a medical error were more likely to gain the trust of patients and receive higher patient rankings. However, that did not necessarily mean patients were less likely to sue, reports American Medical News.

Researchers asked volunteers to watch scenarios during which physicians committed errors and then apologized to the patients for the errors. They were then asked to rate the physicians based on their apologies. Those physicians who offered full and detailed apologies were for the most part more likely to receive the trust of the patients and higher rankings, and be less likely to be sued. However, patients perceived what the physicians said during their apologies differently, which led to varied results.

To read more from American Medical News, click here.