Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
The publishing of the second edition of Forgive and
Remember, Charles L. Bosk's study of the consequences of errors made
by surgical residents, is timely. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report To Err Is Human and a more recent article published in JAMA1 indicate that 32 000 to 98 000 patients
die in the United States each year owing to preventable medical errors. These
injuries require 2.4 million extra hospital days at a potential cost of $4.6
billion annually. Despite calls for action by the IOM report, the Leap Frog
Group, and the US Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality, preventable medical errors remain a significant problem.
Bosk's study sheds light on the difficulties in reducing errors in the health
Anderson JG. Surgical Training, Error. JAMA. 2004;291(14):1775-1776. doi:10.1001/jama.291.14.1775