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J Gen Intern Med. 2003 Aug;18(8):656-8.

Morbidity and mortality conference: a survey of academic internal medicine departments.

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Section of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, VA Boston Health Care System, Boston, Mass, USA.


This study sought to determine the prevalence and characteristics of morbidity and mortality conferences (M&MCs) in U.S. internal medicine training programs. Two hundred ninety-five of 416 (71%) surveys were returned. Ninety percent of programs have an M&MC. Most meet monthly, have a designated leader, and entail case discussions of 3 or fewer patients. Cases are selected on the basis of unexpected bad outcomes, teaching value, and to a lesser extent, suspected medical error. Two thirds of the sites use M&MCs to meet administrative requirements for quality assurance. M&MC, while prevalent in internal medicine training programs, has a heterogeneity of focus. Hence, the goals and role of the conference, as judged by this survey, do not appear to be well defined and may warrant further clarification.

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