D'Arcy Little, MD CCFP FRCPC, Chief of Diagnostic Imaging, Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital,
Adjunct Clinical Lecturer, Department of Medical Imaging, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON,
Forensic Radiologist, Forensic Sciences and Coroners' Complex, Toronto, ON,
2015 Resident in Scientific Communications, Banff Centre, Banff, AB.
I would give great praise to the physician whose mistakes are small, for perfect accuracy is seldom to be seen.
Hippocrates, On Ancient Medicine, ix
Every radiologist makes mistakes, and every radiologist that I know worries about it.
There are ways to prevent or reduce mistakes, and they start with acknowledging them. However, the way mistakes are represented in the media forces them underground. The media promulgates a culture of "blame and shame", in which radiologists are named publically for errors in a derogatory fashion and without appropriate context. This strategy entrenches defensiveness rather than the culture of openness and continual improvement that is necessary to combat such errors in radiology.