In many professions, specific terms – both old and new – are often established and accepted unquestioningly, from the inside. In some cases, such terms may create and perpetuate inequity and injustice, even when introduced with good intentions.
One example is the term ‘second victim’. The term ‘second victim’ was coined by Albert W Wu in his paper ‘Medical error: the second victim’. Wu wrote the following: “although patients are the first and obvious victims of medical mistakes, doctors are wounded by the same errors: they are the second victims”.
In his blog, Stephen Shorrick discusses the term second victim, what patients and families think of this term, and proposes that healthcare professionals are perhaps the 'third victims'.