Michael Pitt, MD – Associate Professor, Director of Global Health Education and Associate Residency Program Director

Department of Pediatrics - University of Minnesota 


Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe why jargon is used and why it is problematic.
  2. Explain the seven types of jargon that are used in clinical practice and provide examples of each.
  3. Identify jargon heavy clinical scenarios and suggest modifications to improve clarity.


None of us went into medicine to confuse people. Yet studies on our use of jargon - the technical terminology of a given group - reveal that we consistently do precisely that. While physicians overwhelmingly agree that using plain language is essential for effective communication, and we rate ourselves highly in our ability to do so, it has been shown that we use terminology not understood by our patients as often as seventy times per encounter. Clearly we have jargon oblivion - we think we are speaking clearly but we aren't understood. In this session, we will identify seven categories of jargon and learn strategies to avoid using in the future. Along the way, we'll have a magician explain how he does a complicated magic trick, review classic clips from medical television shows (read: Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, etc) with our jargon identification lenses on, and practice simple word swaps that can increase the chances of us being understood. 

Session date: 
02/27/2020 - 7:30am to 8:30am CST
Health Sciences Learning Center
750 Highland Avenue
Room 1345
Madison, WI 53792
United States
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC Contact Hours
  • 1.00 University of Wisconsin–Madison Continuing Education Hours

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Discloser List CME Internal Report
Michael Pitt, MD