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When Doctors Admit Their Mistakes

Mon, 08/23/2010 - 6:17am
Pauline W. Chen, M.D.

One afternoon, I overheard a nurse asking another physician how she was feeling. The physician, a young woman known throughout the hospital for her cheery disposition and sunny bedside manner, looked ashen. She smiled weakly in response and insisted that nothing was wrong.

“She’s lying,” the nurse whispered to me as the doctor walked away. “She’s upset because risk management wouldn’t let her go to that patient’s funeral.”

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