Detection and Correction of House Staff Error in Physical Diagnosis

Nelda Wray, Joan A. Friedland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


A significant number of errors in physical examination can be detected when house staff are observed by attending physicians. In this study, observation of residents and interns showed a total error of 13.1% and 15.6%, respectively, with incorrect findings of 3.3% and 4.9% and omitted findings of 9.8% and 10.7%, respectively. Approximately two thirds of all patients examined had at least one error noted. A method was instituted for detecting and correcting these errors that can be integrated into daily attending rounds. Using this method, a statistically significant decrease in the number of errors was shown. The method used emphasizes the physical examination pertinent to the patient's main problem, consumes very little rounding time, and is well received by both attending physicians and house officers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1035-1037
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 25 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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