The doctor walked into the hospital room with a discomforting mission. He was there to admit a medical mistake and apologize to his patient, a woman with breast cancer. The staff had given her the same injection twice by accident, causing her white cell count to soar, said Dr. Divyesh Mehta, chief of oncology at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. He recommended she stay in the hospital an extra day or two. "This is our responsibility, and we are very sorry for it," Mehta said, recalling the conversation.
Mehta, the head of oncology, learned of the double injection the next day, when someone from the hospital contacted the clinic. Before talking to Cephas, "I checked all the facts and I put myself in the shoes of the patient and asked myself what her concerns might be, so I could prepare truthful answers," he said.