Can I say "I'm sorry"?

June 15, 2011

Pharmacists are often reluctant to apologize. One fear is that lawyers may use their statements against them. Another fear is that they may be violating their own malpractice insurance policies. But there can be advantages to saying, "I made a mistake; I am sorry." A patient may be saved and a possibly explosive situation may be cooled. For most of us, it is the natural thing to do.

Key Points

The pharmacist's first reaction was "We didn't do that." After a short, heated conversation, he reportedly accused Joann of replacing the drugs for high blood pressure with the testosterone tablets. The claim was eventually resolved, much later and at considerable expense.

What if the pharmacist had admitted his mistake and apologized? There are advantages to saying, "I made a mistake; I am sorry." A patient may be saved and a possibly explosive situation may be cooled. For most of us, it is the natural thing to do.