Impact of foundational beliefs on reporting medical errors: A cross-sectional and longitudinal study -- Lauris C. Kaldjian, M.D.

The Foundation's Generalist Physician Faculty Scholars Program was designed to strengthen the presence of generalist physician faculty in the nation's medical schools through career development awards to outstanding junior faculty in medical school departments/divisions of family medicine, general internal medicine and general pediatrics. The self-disclosure of medical error is necessary if patient safety is to improve. However, little is known about the ethical values that make physicians willing to report their own medical errors, and even less is known about the foundational beliefs that may underlie these values and influence attitudes toward voluntary disclosure. The purpose of this project is: (1) to develop a taxonomy of foundational beliefs and ethical values that are likely to influence self-reporting of medical errors; and (2) to characterize and compare the foundational beliefs, ethical values, and attitudes toward self-disclosure of medical errors of students, house officers, and attending physicians, and examine associations within and between key domains of belief-value clusters. Aim 1 will be accomplished by: (1) developing a conceptual taxonomy of foundational beliefs and ethical values through structured literature reviews; (2) developing an empirical taxonomy derived from focus groups; and (3) merging the conceptual and empirical taxonomies. Aim 2 will be accomplished by the development and administration of a questionnaire for assessing foundational beliefs, ethical values, and attitudes about self-disclosure of medical error to 540 medical students, 430 house officers, and 140 attending physicians for cross-sectional and cohort analyses. Knowledge gained from this project should advance generalism in medicine by addressing a key ethical issue in physician-patient interactions, by improving the quality of ethics education in medicine, and by suggesting another means of promoting a culture of disclosure that may increase patient safety. The results of this project should lead to educational and institutional initiatives that capitalize on the foundational beliefs that motivate students, house officers, and attending physicians to disclose and discuss medical errors, especially during the formative years of training.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $300,000.00

Awarded on: 6/12/2002

Time frame: 7/1/2002 - 12/31/2006

Grant Number: 45446


University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

University of Iowa
200 Medicine Administration Building
Iowa City, 52242-2600


Lauris C. Kaldjian
Project Director