2021 Annual DOM Clinical Faculty Teaching Retreat - The Second Victim

Boston, MA US
May 18, 2021


The 2nd “Mini” MGH Department of Medicine (DOM) Teaching Faculty Retreat will focus on “The Second Victim”.  The term was coined by a professor at Johns Hopkins to describe the impact on healthcare providers when there is a medical mistake, error or unanticipated event in the care of a patient. The first victim is clearly the patient, but it is now recognized that health care providers also have emotional reactions to these events and can be wounded. They are the second victims. Yet the normal feelings of shame, guilt, isolation and fear a provider experiences after an event, may also make them feel unable or unworthy to seek help. Unaddressed these emotions can lead to psychological suffering, depression, burnout, impaired clinical care, drug or alcohol use or even suicide. Providers most at risk to develop second victim syndrome are younger physicians and learners due to their limited experience and ability to contextualize the event, though it can happen to any care provider at any time. Most physicians have experienced the emotions of a second victim at some point in their career. This retreat will teach faculty about the concept of the second victim, help them recognize the emotions associated with it and train them to identify and talk with learners who are wounded when unanticipated events, errors and mistakes occur.

Target Audience

This activity is intended for all of the clinical teaching faculty in the Department of Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as faculty from the Newton-Wellesley Hospital. This includes primary care preceptors, sub-specialty educator coordinators, inpatient attendings, intensive care unit attendings, cardiology inpatient attendings.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Report the emotions of being a second victim
  2. Recognize the second victim syndrome
  3. Develop skills to speak with a learner who appears upset by an unanticipated event
  4. Practice the skills of speaking with a learner who is distraught after a mistake
  5. Summarize going forward when you might address the issue of the second victim with a learner

Additional Information

Provided by: 

Provided by Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Medicine and Mass General Brigham

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 Participation
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
05/18/2021 - 4:00pm EDT
Event ends: 
05/18/2021 - 5:30pm EDT






Welcome and Introduction

Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD
Kathleen Finn, MD, MPhil


The Second Victim

Stephen D. Pratt, MD


Workshop: Learners’ Experience: “How to Identify and Discuss Unanticipated Events with learners”

Stephen D. Pratt, MD


Thank you and Adjourn

Kathleen Finn, MD, MPhil

Massachusetts General Hospital
virtual (zoom)
Boston, MA 02114
United States

Course Directors

Kathleen Finn, MD
Internal Medicine Residency Program,
Massachusetts General Hospital 

Stephen D. Pratt, MD
Department of Anesthesia
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center



Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD
Internal Medicine Residency Program Director,
Massachusetts General Hospital 



Mass General Brigham is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Mass General Brigham designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 Participation


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