Teaching medical students the art of medical error full disclosure: evaluation of a new curriculum

Teach Learn Med. 2009 Jul;21(3):229-32. doi: 10.1080/10401330903018526.


Background: Despite the acknowledgment that error disclosure is essential to patient safety and the patient-provider relationship, there is little undergraduate training related to error disclosure.

Description: Pilot test and evaluate an educational module designed to improve student confidence in understanding and performing medical error disclosure. The training was designed to establish competency in the four Rs of apology-recognition, responsibility, regret, and remedy-and included a 3-hr interactive discussion, training DVDs, practice of full disclosure using standardized patients, and facilitated reflection. Students were assessed pre and post using a self-administered confidence survey.

Evaluations: Confidence among students improved significantly from 11.5 +/- 2.9 before to 15.3 +/- 1.3 after the module (p <.0001).

Conclusions: The full disclosure educational module significantly improved students' perceived confidence in admitting medical errors and their confidence in understanding and performing the full disclosure of a medical error.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Curriculum*
  • Education, Professional / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Male
  • Medical Errors*
  • Models, Educational*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation
  • Truth Disclosure*