Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Dr. Richard Jimenez


The high incidence of medical and surgical errors in U.S. hospitals and clinics affects patients' safety. Not enough is known about the relationship between physician characteristics and medical error rates. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine the relationship between selected physician characteristics and surgical errors in U.S. hospitals. The ecological model was used to understand personal and systemic factors that might be related to the incidence of surgical errors. Archived data from the National Practitioner Data Bank database of physician surgical errors were analyzed using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Independent variables included physicians' home state, state of license, field of license, age group, and graduation year group. The dependent variable was surgical medical errors. Physicians' field of license and state of license were significantly associated with surgical error. Findings contribute to the knowledge base regarding the relationship between physician characteristics and surgical medical errors, and findings may be used to improve patient safety and medical care.