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More complaints equals more complications

I read a really interesting scientific paper this morning.

Today I completed the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Operating With Respect course. The faculty leading the course quoted scientific data showing that surgeons who have higher levels of complaints made against them have significantly higher complication rates from their operations.

The most interesting of the papers quoted was this one published in JAMA in 2017. The authors looked at 32,000 patients who had undergone surgery. The rates of postoperative complications were much higher for operations performed by surgeons who had high numbers of unsolicited complaints made about them in the period leading up to the operative procedure. If the surgeon was in the highest quartile for numbers of complaints made the complication rate in procedures that they subsequently performed was 13.9% compared with surgeons who ranked in the lowest quartile for complaints.

It makes you think, doesn’t it?

How good we are as surgeons is related to how we treat people…..