Patient and Physician Interviews

Patients Living with Chronic Pain

The University of Virginia Wisdom Through Adversity study is exploring the experiences of people living with chronic pain. In Fall 2010 we completed our interviews and are no longer recruiting participants for this study. You may learn more about the study and see video clips from some of the interviews that were shown on the PBS documentary related to our work that aired on National Public Television in 2012. Please revisit our site – we will be adding information and more interview clips as we continue analyzing and reporting our findings from the study.

Physicians Coping After Medical Error


Making a mistake or causing an adverse outcome is perhaps the most devastating experience a clinician can have. As a practicing physician, and Director of the University of Virginia’s Institute for Quality and Patient Safety, Dr. Margaret Plews-Ogan has had the opportunity to reflect on the way the health care system responds to medical error, and particularly its impact on physicians.

With a $1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, Dr. Plews-Ogan and the study team interviewed physicians about their experiences coping in the wake of involvement in a serious medical error. By learning how physicians cope and by mapping the “path through adversity,” we are identifying successful strategies to share with other physicians and institutions.

Physician Training DVD

The PBS documentary footage has been adapted to a 30-minute training DVD for physicians and physicians-in-training. In addition to the physician participant interviews (see video clips), the DVD includes “special features” that illustrate important concepts in coping with error and developing wisdom as a physician: post-traumatic growth, forgiveness, dealing with imperfection, disclosure and apology, and talking about it. The accompanying Discussion Guide includes background on post-traumatic growth and wisdom, questions for reflection or discussion, and resources for further study.

Interested educators may contact Natalie May, study co-investigator, at, to receive a complimentary copy of the physician training DVD.