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Why are junior doctors reluctant to consult attending physicians?

  • Swank, Otto H.

A physician performs two tasks: making diagnoses and determining treatments. To reduce medical error, junior doctors are supposed to consult their supervisors when they face uncommon circumstances. However, recent research shows that junior doctors are reluctant to do so. This paper presents a model that explains (i) which junior doctors shy away from consulting; (ii) when junior doctors are reluctant; (iii) the importance of protocols in the medical sector; and (iv) when consulting is a sign of strength or a sign of weakness. Furthermore, I show that encouraging junior doctors to consult by investigating mishaps leads to another distortion: they will give too much weight to own assessments.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8K-4Y34W77-1/2/b8f70f6dde695fb386dea58f0fd4d856
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 317-324

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:317-324
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  2. Bernardo, Antonio & Welch, Ivo, 1997. "On the Evolution of Overconfidence and Entrepreneurs," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt6668s4pz, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
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  4. Ottaviani, Marco & Sorensen, Peter, 2001. "Information aggregation in debate: who should speak first?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 393-421, September.
  5. Shachar Kariv, 2005. "Overconfidence and Informational Cascades," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000406, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
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