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Patient Safety in Medical Education

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A very important aspect of medical education that had been overlooked for a long time is patient safety. When patient safety in medical education gets relegated to the backseat; the result is there for everyone to see: something like close to a 100,000 deaths at the turn of the previous century, according to the alarming results of a comprehensive study carried out by the Institute of Medicine. The tragedy of these deaths is that these were preventable. This reinforces the belief that patient safety in medical education is the core factor, which if handled properly, can save thousands of lives. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Patient Safety in Medical Education


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Patient Safety in Medical Education
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  • A very important aspect of medical education that
    had been overlooked for a long time is patient
    safety. When patient safety in medical education
    gets relegated to the backseat the result is
    there for everyone to see something like close
    to a 100,000 deaths at the turn of the previous
    century, according to the alarming results of a
    comprehensive study carried out by the Institute
    of Medicine.

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  • The tragedy of these deaths is that these were
    preventable. This reinforces the belief that
    patient safety in medical education is the core
    factor, which if handled properly, can save
    thousands of lives.

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How does patient safety in medical education come
about?
  • It goes without saying that physicians and other
    caregivers practice in their professions what
    they learn in schools. So, patient safety in
    medical education has to be incorporated into the
    curriculum at the earliest stages. Hospitals,
    medical colleges and other institutes that impart
    medical education have now started taking more
    than mere baby steps in inculcating patient
    safety in medical education as a core part of
    teaching, the already heavily burdened curriculum
    in medical education notwithstanding.

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Efforts by medical education bodies
  • Following the publication of the IOM report, the
    American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC)
    and the Curriculum Management and Information
    Tool (CurrMit) in the US and Medical Schools
    Council and the General Medical Council (GMC) in
    the UK sprang into action, announcing a slew of
    measures aimed at bringing about and reinforcing
    patient safety in medical education.

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  • Entire lessons and chapters are devoted to
    patient safety in medical education. Keywords and
    technical jargon relating to patient safety are
    now a highly visible aspect of patient safety in
    medical education. These are spread across all
    disciples and subjects of medical education, be
    it gynecology or anesthetics.

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What should curricula teach about patient safety
in medical education?
  • Apart from emphasizing the criticality of patient
    safety in the curricula medical textbooks and
    other sources of education heavily stress the
    importance of patient safety by filling the
    curricula with patient safety-related keywords
    such as "human error", "medication error",
    "adverse event", "quality improvement", and so on.

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  • More importantly, those who study medicine at
    various levels, such as medical undergraduates,
    graduates, post graduates and those pursuing even
    higher studies have to be made aware of the need
    for making patient safety a part of their
    practice culture. It should be embedded into
    their very thought process. Safety improvement
    tools have to be implanted irrevocably into their
    thinking and practice to the extent that it
    becomes second nature to them. This should be
    implemented by them at every stage throughout
    their careers. This is the entire aim of patient
    safety in medical education.

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