Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Supporting clinicians after medical error

Must “second victims” always be in the wrong?

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 07 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2331
  1. Christopher V Thompson, specialty registrar colorectal surgery1,
  2. Nigel Suggett, consultant colorectal surgeon1,
  3. Jodie Fellows, principal clinical psychologist2
  1. 1University Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2GW, UK
  2. 2Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. cvthompson{at}

Edrees and Federico discuss the support of clinicians after medical error—the “second victims.”1 The concept of second victims seems to revolve around medical error and the psychological consequences of these events on the clinician.

A surgeon’s usual duties meet criterion A of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) for post-traumatic …

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