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Medical errors have become an accepted if unfortunate part of medical care, but physicians may greatly underestimate how much they contribute to the problem.

“The average clinician is making a lot of mistakes that they are unaware of,” says Dr Art Papier, a dermatologist and medical informatics specialist. How many doctors fall into this category?

All but the “master diagnosticians,” who represent less than 1% of practicing clinicians, he says. That would mean that 99% of doctors regularly make errors that they never realize they made.

“We don’t really understand how many mistakes we’re making,” he says.

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