Sorry Works!

Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

Challenge: Talk About the Patient You Killed....

Website: October 7, 2011 Doug Wojcieszak, Founder & Spokesperson Contact phone/e-mail address: 618-559-8168;


I recently received an e-mail from a doc who told me about the patient she killed early on in her career, wasn't allowed to talk about it at the time, how she has carried this burden all these years, but now she is sharing her story with residents and medical students. I encouraged her to keep telling the story....turn a big negative in her life to a positive.

This is not the first time I've heard this story. After many Sorry Works! presentations I've been approached by a doc or nurse telling me some story about a patient they injured or killed and the case has literally haunted them their entire career...and they desperately want to know if there is anything they can do? The pain is often more acute if they have regular run-ins with the patient or family at the grocery store, church, little league, etc. It's that "prison" we talk about so much in Sorry Works!

You know, there is a couple generations of docs and nurses walking around out there with stories of errors that they weren't allowed to disclose. And these folks are yearning to talk -- and now disclosure gives them an opening. To make an analogy, it's a little like the Gay Rights many times have we seen/heard about older people "coming out," saying they've been quiet all these years, but no longer. Please understand, I'm not making a political statement here (don't care if you support Gay Rights or not, that's not point) -- just making an analogy and showing that this is a well- worn path.

Docs and nurses shouldn't continue to suffer in silence. They need to talk...and no one better to talk to than tomorrow's docs and nurses. Our residents. Our medical and nursing students. Talk to them about these errors, tell them about your pain and grief, how hiding this information and carrying this shame has made you feel all these years, and then strongly encourage them to adopt disclosure practices so they never walk a mile in your shoes! Disclosure is here, we just need to teach our people - especially the youngsters - so no one suffers in silence anymore.

To learn more about disclosure, remember our Sorry Works! webinar on November 15th. This is the classic Sorry Works! talk given by Sorry Works! Founder Doug Wojcieszak. Here is the registration link: .


- Doug

Doug Wojcieszak, Founder Sorry Works! PO Box 531 Glen Carbon, IL 62034 618-559-8168 (direct dial)