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Book and Media Reviews
January 18, 2006

Medical Error

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;295(3):333-334. doi:10.1001/jama.295.3.333

Upon opening this book, a searing memory came to mind. As a senior medical resident, I examined an older man who presented to the emergency ward with acute leg pain. While I carefully thought of possible causes like venous thrombosis or a herniated disk, what I did not do was carefully examine his electrocardiogram, which showed an acute inferior wall myocardial infarction. Though I felt terrible, I credit my supervisors for being comforting and gentle. Still, there was a nagging thought as to how it could be that the system would allow me to make such a mistake.