The subject of physician errors which harm patients was presented in an Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) course for first-year medical students at the University of Washington in 1986. Students read specified articles, attended a faculty panel discussion, and participated in small discussion groups. One year after the session, students were surveyed. Most of the students found the reading materials provocative and appreciated the opportunity to discuss a subject they think about often. Of the respondents, 88% believed the topic should continue to be included in the first-year ICM course. The results suggest that the first year of medical school is an appropriate time to begin to discuss the fallibility of physicians and how physician errors are handled.