What is the "Right" Way? Challenges and Strategies in Teaching Skills for Critical Conversations with Patients, Sara Johnson, MD; Jessica Baker, MD

To register for this workshop, go to https://ce.icep.wisc.edu/content/medical-education-day-2021-virtual-conference-registration

What is the "Right" Way? Challenges and Strategies in Teaching Skills for Critical Conversations with Patients, Sara Johnson, MD; Jessica Baker, MD

The importance of healthcare professionals' abilities to communicate with patients and their families effectively and with empathy, particularly in difficult conversations is crucial and gaining more national attention at all levels of medical education. Medical training programs continue to develop curricula to impart these important skills; however, teaching communication is challenging due to the inherent complexity and unique factors for each learner, teacher, and clinical scenario. Communication curricula based on best practices include cultivating an effective learning environment, elements of deliberate practice, and high-level feedback. In this workshop, after a brief review of the above, we will inspect example curricula and strategies to overcome these challenges based on our experiences in teaching communication to a variety of learners at both UGME, GME, and faculty levels.

The teaching strategies of this session will be virtual and consist of 1) discussions on challenges and teaching skills to navigate them; 2) role-play as learners and teachers in communication education scenarios; 3) brief didactic portions on background, example stories, current literature, and additional resources; and 4) reflection on opportunities and plans for implementing skills in future teaching.


  • Describe challenges in teaching the skills needed for critical conversations with patients and families
  • Discuss strategies to overcome common challenges in teaching communication skills
  • Participate in a communication learning activity to reflect on communication learner role
  • Practice observation of, and feedback on, communication skills in a demonstration
  • Devise further steps and resources in order to grow skills in teaching communication to healthcare learners
Course summary
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