Study: Doctors' personal problems can lead to medical errors

Another dispatch from the "doctors are people too" department: A new study has concluded that financial problems, family issues and other personal problems can play a significant role in potentially fatal medical mistakes.

It's already well documented that fatigue and personal stress contribute to medical errors. However, most efforts to update medical training methods have focused on efforts to reduce physician fatigue.

This time around, researchers set out to isolate how fatigue and personal stress each contribute to medical mistakes.  They concluded that typical levels of fatigue and distress can be associated with doubled or even tripled risk of errors.

Researchers, whose paper appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association, are recommending that personal issues be dealt with separately from fatigue when groups develop updated medical training guidelines.

To learn more about this research:
- read this HealthDay News piece

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