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Iatrogenesis Articles & Websites

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Institutes & Organizations Online

American Iatrogenic Association

A non-profit educational association that seeks to raise the level of consciousness about iatrogenesis and its prevalence in medical practice. This site tends somewhat towards political and biased arguments.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Iatrogenesis not dealt with on its own but only referred to in specific studies dealing with specific illnesses.

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A biased organizational online network of individuals seeking information about and to affect change in the medical industry. Does provide some relevant and accurate information.

Institute for Laboratory Animal Research

In this era where the word "terrorism" appears in nearly every news story, this introduction to an issue of ILAR Journal reveals an unusual angle on iatrogenesis. This article discussses "iatrogenic introduction" of "infectious agents"- another way of talking about "bioterrorism."

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Massachusetts Nursing Association and "medical error"

This short article talks about how many medical errors occur during admission and discharge and also because of overburdened staffing situations citing the IoM´s call for a ban on mandatory overtime for nurses.

National Academies, Institute of Medicine

A news release from the IoM warning that a system-wide revamp is necessary if medical errors are to be avoided. Iatrogenesis does not receive a mention in this article. It comes at the issue from the point of view of patient safety and recommends the creation of a national center for patient safety, procedural changes in clinical settings (eg storing diluted, ready-to-use drugs instead of full-strength drugs), a mandatory reporting system, and building a “culture of safety.”

National Center for Health Education (NCHE)

An American organization created from a recommendation of a Presedential Commission. Not much content on the site other than general information about the NCHE’s programs and links to other organizations sites.

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Mentions iatrogenesis only in the context of various specific studies primarily dealing with toxicology and diseases like hyperthyroidism and Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease. It also provides a short definition in its glossary.

National Vaccine Information Center

Deals with a specific sub-category of iatrogenesis stemming from immunizations. NVIC is a parent-led non-profit organization that seeks to provide comprehensive information on the practice of immunization and advocates reform of the mass vaccination movement in the US.

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University of Florida, College of Medicine, Office of Medical Informatics

A server dedicated to medical education at the University of Florida. A search for either iatrogenic or iatrogenesis yields several articles that deal indirectly or directly with the topic.


Aron, DC and Headrick, LA. 2002. Educating physicians prepared to improve care and safety is no accident: it requires a systematic approach. Quality and Safety in Health Care. 11: 168-173.

Characterizes the problems of patient safety and iatrogenesis in terms of a comprehensive systemic overhaul. This would involve more than just procedural changes in health care settings as recommended by so many other researchers, Aron and Headrick recommend changes at the curricular and organizational levels including stricter entrance requirements, ridding educational cultures of “us versus them” mentalities, and continuous evaluation of programs and practices.

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Hutchinson, Martin. 2007. Busting modern medical myths. BBC News: Health. 06 April. Available online: Accessed 04/09/07.

Discusses the lack of evidence-based practices and how there is a certain disconnect between research and practice in medicine.

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Lecture by Lynne Kallenbach, MD

A lecture for medical students that defines iatrogenesis and provides case studies and recommendations for avoiding it in medical practice. One of the only articles written by a health care professional that uses the word “iatrogenesis.”

Lewis, Michael. 2007. The Hospital Daddy gets a guilt trip. Dad again: Notes on fatherhood (blog). Updated Friday, April 6, 2007, at 2:46 PM ET. Available online Accessed 10 April 2007.

Illustrates just how invasive, stressful, and inconsistent hospital care can be in the tale of a father watching over his infant son with RSV.

Queneau, P, Chabot, JM, Rajaona, H, Boissier, C, Grandmottet, P. Iatrogenie observee en milieu hospitalier. II—Analyse des causes et propositions pour de nouvelles mesures preventives. Bulletin de L’Academie Nationale de Medecine. 176(5): 651-64, 664-7.

This article reviews the results of a study conducted in a hospital that found 109 instances of “adverse events” among 1733 patients. They found that the adverse events occurred because of poor compliance in 18% of the patients, negligent or erroneous prescriptions in 30.3%, and a full 48.3% from outright errors or negligence on the part of physicians. The authors recommend changes in training for health care professionals and the system they inhabit on many levels including cultural, legislative, and media.

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Sanghavi, Darshak, Groopman, Jerome. 2007. How doctors think: How can we stop doctors from making deadly mistakes? Slate Magazine Online: the book club email entries. From Sanghavi to Groopman. Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2007, at 7:40 AM ET. Available online . Accessed 10 April 2007.

An excerpt from a book review section in Slate Magazine that covers an email from the author of How Doctors Think. They discuss a doctor's near-flub and how it occurred.

Timilisina, DS. 2005. Understanding and responding to ‘iatrogenesis.’ Nepal Journal of Neuroscience. 2: 7-11.

This article recognizes the often contradictory nature of the rhetoric that exists in the health care industry that extols the “primacy of patient’s interest” while that very thing is more often than not “subordinated to the needs and interests of health care organizations and professionals.” Attempts to categorize and analyze the various types and frequencies of iatrogenesis, their causes, and their recommended solutions.

Werch, CE and Owen, DM. 2002. Iatrogenic effects of alcohol and drug prevention programs. Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 63(5):581-90.

This represents one of few studies that deal with the relatively narrow topic of iatrogenic effects of health education. The researchers found that many prevention programs actually do show negative outcomes in the form of increased consumption. They recommend a more rigorous monitoring and reporting of outcomes for these programs by practitioners.

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