Speaking with patients or their families after a medical error or an adverse medical event is one of the most difficult conversations a clinician can have. Yet most clinicians have little or no training in how to prepare for and conduct these conversations. This Disclosure and Apology course offers providers the tools, skills, and practice needed to conduct these difficult conversations with confidence and compassion.

The aim of this course is to help clinicians prepare and practice for disclosure and apology, and to seek appropriate support for these challenging conversations.

National advocate for patient safety and quality in healthcare Beth Daly Ullem shares why she supports this course in the following short video:




Course Format

The Disclosure and Apology course is organized into three parts. Parts I and III are self-paced and can be completed here. Part II is a live, moderated online workshop guided by our expert faculty. We strongly suggest you participate in the moderated workshop after completing Part I of the course and before completing Part III.

The next workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, from 9:00am-11:00 am (EST). Please visit the IPEP site to register for this upcoming live moderated workshop.

Course director Dr. Robert Truog provides an overview of the course in the following short video:




Details about the next available workshop and registration can be found in the Moderated Workshop section of the curriculum or by visiting the IPEP website.

Statement of Need/Suggested Audience

Disclosure and apology conversations after medical errors and adverse events are vital to safer, high-quality healthcare. Transparency around errors enables organizations to learn from mistakes and take measures to prevent them from happening in the future. But these conversations are difficult for patients, families and clinicians involved. As a result, they often go poorly or are avoided by clinicians and institutions, leading to a so-called "disclosure gap." This course aims to support clinicians to be better prepared to have these difficult but necessary conversations. This training is helpful for:

Physicians, nurses, social workers, and other providers who work closely with patients and their families.

Accreditation/Designation Statements

This course is currently being offered for continuing education credits on our continuing education site. To view the continuing education accredited version, please click here.

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


Boston Children’s Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of  6 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 6 contact hours for nurses. Nurses should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Risk Management

The content in the conference material meets the requirement for 6 Risk Management Credits proscribed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine and defined in CMR 2.06(5)(d) I.

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate existing experience with disclosure and apology
  • Incorporate core relational values and guidelines and tips for disclosure and apology into practice
  • Prepare and practice for these conversations
  • Outline next steps to continue to develop relational skills for disclosure and apology
  • Promote the importance of transparency, peer and professional support, and fair resolution for patients, families and clinicians in errors/adverse events within institutions.

Course Directors

  • Donna Luff, PhD
  • Elaine Meyer, PhD, RN
  • Traci Wolbrink, MD, MPH
  • Robert D. Truog, MD


Ms. Beth Daley Ullem, Dr. Elaine Meyer, Dr. Jo Shapiro, Dr. Paul Hickey, Mr. David Browning, Ms. Brenda Allair, Ms. Linda Kenney, Dr. Frederick van Pelt, Dr. Patricia Folcarelli, Mr. Mark Blazey, Dr. Kenneth Sands, Dr. Robert Wachter, Dr. Andrew Carson-Stevens, Dr. Marisa Brett, Dr. Eric Fleegler, Ms. Christine Rachwal, Dr. Stephen Brown

Release Date

  • Released: November 23, 2016