Objective: To develop a reference statement for the appropriate management of mistakes in the general practice training environment.
Method: The setting was a series of focus groups held during workshops with The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Training Program in the Northern Territory (NT). The participants included NT supervisors and registrars, and representatives of the Consumer Reference Group, Top End Division of General Practice.
Results: A reference statement and mutually agreed list of duties for registrars, their supervisors and patients.
Conclusion: Mistakes are a part of the practice of medicine and can impact on everyone. An appropriate response and the opportunity to reflect and learn from the experience are important elements in minimising the adverse impact. We recommend that the issue of mistakes be considered a priority in the teaching of medicine.