Morbidity and mortality conference: a survey of academic internal medicine departments

J Gen Intern Med. 2003 Aug;18(8):656-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1497.2003.20824.x.


This study sought to determine the prevalence and characteristics of morbidity and mortality conferences (M&MCs) in U.S. internal medicine training programs. Two hundred ninety-five of 416 (71%) surveys were returned. Ninety percent of programs have an M&MC. Most meet monthly, have a designated leader, and entail case discussions of 3 or fewer patients. Cases are selected on the basis of unexpected bad outcomes, teaching value, and to a lesser extent, suspected medical error. Two thirds of the sites use M&MCs to meet administrative requirements for quality assurance. M&MC, while prevalent in internal medicine training programs, has a heterogeneity of focus. Hence, the goals and role of the conference, as judged by this survey, do not appear to be well defined and may warrant further clarification.

MeSH terms

  • Health Care Surveys
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Medical Errors* / prevention & control
  • Morbidity
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / organization & administration
  • United States