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BC Medical Journal

Authors: Clara MacDonald, MSc, MD

Publication date: April 2024


Adverse events in medicine are a frequent and unfortunate reality that can have a significant impact on patients and the physicians who care for them. This article provides an overview of the psychological impacts of adverse events and the role of anticipatory anxiety of such events on physicians and trainees. It draws from a medical student’s insights and experience in relation to current literature. I propose proactive psychological preparedness as a strategy to lessen the emotional impact of adverse events and promote resilience. This approach has potential benefits to patient safety, quality, and system improvements, and a reduction of the shame-and-blame medical culture.

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