Table 1

Key recommendations from Unmet Needs: Teaching Physicians to Provide Safe Patient Care

Target of recommendationRecommendation
Medical school and hospital leadersPlace highest priority on creating a learning culture that emphasises patient safety, professionalism, transparency and valuing the individual learner.
Eliminate hierarchical and authority gradients.
Emphasise that professionalism includes demonstrating mutual respect and non-tolerance of abusive or demeaning behaviour.
Declare and enforce a zero-tolerance policy for confirmed egregious disrespectful behaviour by faculty, staff or residents.
Promote the development of interpersonal skills, leadership, teamwork and collaboration among faculty and staff.
Provide incentives and resources to enhance faculty capabilities to teach and practice patient safety and to be effective role models.
The selection process for admission to medical schools should emphasise attributes that reflect professionalism and orientation to patient safety, such as compassion, empathy and collaboration.
Medical schoolsTreat patient safety as a science that encompasses human factors, systems theory and open communication.
Emphasise the shaping of desired skills, attitudes and behaviours as set forth in the core competencies defined by the IOM, the American Board of Medical Specialties and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
The educational experience should be coherent, continuing and flexible throughout undergraduate medical education, residency and fellowship training and lifelong continuing education.
Accrediting bodiesAmend medical school accreditation requirements and residency programme requirements to include expectations for the creation of learning cultures and the development of patient safety-related behavioural traits.
Survey medical schools to evaluate education priorities for patient safety and the creation of school and hospital cultures that support patient safety.
  • EHR, electronic health record, IOM, Institute of Medicine.