Disclosure and Apology in Radiology

Radiology adverse event

An error in care. A missed or delayed diagnosis.  Are you prepared to disclose these to your patients?

Until recently, many patients never met their radiologist to hear about these highly charged clinical events. That’s changing. Today’s patients want to talk with you and your radiology team.

Patients and families can be understandably angry and frustrated after receiving such difficult information.  It’s not easy, at these times, for clinicians to apologize, take responsibility, and convey empathy to the patient and family.  Many clinicians feel embarrassed, ashamed, alone, and unprepared.

Dealing with the fallout of a medical error requires training and practice. This new online workshop, designed BY radiologists specifically FOR radiologists, including radiological teams and training managers, will provide you with ethical underpinnings, best practices and tools to conduct these very difficult conversations.  With this preparation, you will learn to be present and support the patient's experience – while warding off your own stress and burnout -- even when everyone in the room is distraught.

What You’ll Learn

Radiology professionals will:

  • Gain a solid grounding in the core principles of error disclosure and apology in a radiology context.
  • Recognize what to say and how to say it during these highly-charged situations;
  • Identify how to express empathy and be proactive with a grieving patient and family; and,
  • Acquire pragmatic guidelines, tips, and pointers for holding difficult conversations.

By the end of the workshop, you will have a solid insight into  the ethical underpinnings, legal and risk management perspectives, important recent developments, and nationally recommended best practice standards around error disclosure, with an understanding of the challenges particular to radiologic practice. More importantly, you will gain confidence in your preparedness for these high-stakes conversations.

Live Online Workshop Format:  

Participation in the 2-hour online workshop is through an online video conferencing platform. An interactive format enables you to engage directly with IPEP’s faculty and peers from around the country and the globe to learn, discuss, and practice approaches to disclosure through guided whiteboard and comment-board discussions.  We’ll use videos as triggers for facilitated group reflective learning about the spectrum of radiology error cases—with strategies for a variety of disclosure discussions.

Led by Harvard Medical School experts in bioethics and communication facilitate this intensive online workshop will cover:

  • Patient, family and clinician perspectives
  • Core ethical rationale
  • Quality and safety perspectives
  • Best practice guidelines
  • Spectrum of error case scenarios
  • Video recorded enactments of medical error scenario featuring simulated root cause analyses, disclosure coaching, and disclosure conversation

Who Should Attend

  • Radiology physician, resident or fellow
  • Leader responsible for training and meeting ACGME guidelines
  • Radiology department or team manager
  • Physician assistant
  • Nurse or nurse practitioner
  • Technician
  • Patient advocate
  • Quality & Safety leaders

Enrollment is capped at 50 participants in order to offer everyone the opportunity for input and questions during discussion and Q&A sessions.

General Information

Upcoming Workshop Dates

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
9:00-11:00 am, EDT
(6:00-8:00 am PDT)

June 2019 (TBA)
Check back soon

Tuition:  $50.00

CME/CE Available:  2.0 for risk management, MOC credits


Learn from Harvard Medical School experts in radiology, bioethics and communication:

  • Stephen D. Brown, MD, Director, Institute for Professionalism & Ethical Practice, Boston Children’s Hospital; Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School; Chair of the Professionalism Committee of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
  • David Browning, MSW, LICSW, Senior Scholar and Co-Founder, Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Boston Children’s Hospital.
Stephen D. Brown, MD

Associate Professor of Radiology, Harvard Medical School

David Browning, MSW, LICSW

Senior Scholar Emeritus
Psychosocial Faculty
Co-founder, IPEP

Continuing Education

In support of improving patient care, Boston Children's Hospital is accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for the healthcare team.


Boston Children’s Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of  2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in this activity.

AAPA accepts AMA category 1 credit for the PRA from organizations accredited by ACCME.


Boston Children’s Hospital designates this activity for 2 contact hours for nurses. Nurses should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.”