Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. (Makary and Daniel, 2016). It causes approximately 251 000 deaths per annum which is 7 times more than the number of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents and in the US the average cost amounts to 30 billion dollars. In South Africa medical negligence claims are rising greatly and the highest documented pay-outs result from medical negligence. 

This comprehensive short course aims at equipping medical practitioners with practical steps to avoid common pitfalls that may result in medical negligence. It takes a systematic approach that addresses common and important conditions and presentations to consider when you work in the ED.

Who Should Enrol

  • Medical Practitioners (MP) 
  • Intern Doctors (IN)
  • Clinical Associates (CA)
  • Professional Nurses

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to: 

  • Develop a strategy for ruling out high risk conditions in the emergency department. 
  • Apply strategies to diminish systemic errors and cognitive errors in the emergency department. 
  • Recognize airway compromise and implement an appropriate management plan to protect the airway. 
  • Develop a high index of suspicion for an acute myocardial infarction and implement appropriate diagnostic tests. 
  • Develop a strategy for ruling out high risk abdominal conditions that may present in an atypical way to the emergency department. 
  • Identify a number of emergency conditions that are frequently missed in the ED. 
  • Manage the disclosure of a serious medical error to a patient or family. 

Course Design

This comprehensive short course is designed on a blended model. Students will first engage with the study material on our online platform and this is then followed by a 2-day interactive workshop with subject matter experts.

Course Content

Module 1: The ED as an error prone environment. 

Module 2: PEARLS and Pitfalls of airway management. 

Module 3: Missed chest catastrophes: MI and PE. 

Module 4: Easily missed deadly abdominal conditions. 

Module 5: Neurological disasters not to miss. 

Module 6: Odds and ends to your “rule-out” list. 

Course Duration

The minimum period of completion for the online component is 20 hours followed by a 2-day workshop.


FPD will award successful participants with a certificate of completion after obtaining a minimum cumulative average of 70% on the assessment and attendance of the full 2-day workshop.

Course Fee

R 4 000 inclusive of all VAT and taxes.

Enrolment process

This course is offered as open enrolment and students need to complete the online component prior to attendance of the scheduled workshops which will be confirmed January 2022.


For more information or to register, please contact 

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