Teaching Communication Skills

Teaching Videos

Communicating with Cancer Patients & Families: Can it be Taught, Learned or Assessed? - This video describes some of the road blocks to effective communication, and how we teach communication skills across the spectrum of oncology professionals. Only RME credit is available (RME available only to physicians enrolled in The University of Texas Professional Liability Insurance Plan).

Did They Get It? Strategies for Making Sure Patients and Families Understand Your Message - Daniel Epner, M.D. demonstrates key communication strategies that are essential when talking with patients and families and ensuring that they understand important information about their treatment plan. Dr. Epner is teaching these skills to an audience of MDs, nurses, PAs, Social Workers, and others.
        Presentation slides (pdf)
        RME credit available

On Being an OncologistOn Being an Oncologist - A reflection on the challenges of treating a life-threatening illness such as cancer brought home by actors William Hurt and Megan Cole. Available for  CME credit or RME credit (RME available only to physicians enrolled in The University of Texas Professional Liability Insurance Plan).

OncoTalk Teach Videos: These videos illustrate specific skills that are useful in communicating with patients, and in teaching communication to trainees.

Using Action Methods to Improve Communication Skills - Action methods are derived from psychodrama and sociodrama using group enactments of life situations to help clients deepen their understanding of and resolve interpersonal conflicts or mental problems. For more information on these methods visit: www.hvpi.net. (For RME credit, you must view this video and “The Crisis of Cancer”).

The Crisis of CancerThe Crisis of Cancer - Four cancer survivors describe what they need from their doctors. This video is filled with tips to help clinicians support their patients during “The Crisis of Cancer.” (For RME credit, you must view this video and “Using Action Methods to Improve Communication Skills.” RME available only to physicians enrolled in The University of Texas Professional Liability Insurance Plan).

Meeting Cancer Survivors Needs: A GME Competency Series panel discussion on cancer survivorship including a unique program for patients with body image issues, the role of social work, and sexual counseling services.

Difficult Conversations - Dr. Silvia Tanzi demonstrates techniques for transitioning patients to palliative care and end-of-life issues. These videos are in Italian.

Communication and Relationship Skills for Health Professionals - Joaquim C. Reis, Ph.D. and Luzia Travado, Ph.D. – A video in Portuguese on how to break bad news.

Med Speak: (1:12) A short video with actor, John Cleese demonstrating how not to do it.

Mr. Simon: (0:40) Another "how not to do it" video that can be used as a discussion starter and to add some levity to your teaching.


Other Teaching Resources

For Nurses - SPIKES RN is an adaptation of the SPIKES protocol to assist nurses in being supportive to patients without going beyond their comfort level after bad news has been disclosed to the patient, when the patient needs additional information, or when the patient has questions.

Featured TopicFeatured Topic - Daniel Epner, M.D., discusses the article "Enhancing Communication Between Oncologists and Patients with a Computer-Based Training Program".


I*CARE Roundtable - Interviews with notable experts in the field of communication who have presented at the Achieving Communication Excellence (ACE) lecture series.

Around the World - Updates on communication skills programs of interest in different countries around the world.

        On Being An Oncologist (pdf) – This workbook accompanies the video above and can be used to promote and foster discussions related to the demands, the rewards, the emotional costs and personal burdens that oncology places on clinicians.

        Pocket Guide of Culturally Competent Communication (pdf) - Free download of ways cultural competence can help you plan patient care.

        Challenging Emotional Conversations with Patients & Families (pdf) - A guide to forming a therapeutic alliance with patients and families.

        Effective Communication in Supervision (pdf) – Giving Feedback - The good, the bad and the ugly.

        Conducting a Family Meeting Booklet (pdf) - David Kissane, M.D., Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

        Conducting a Family Meeting Blueprint (pdf) - David Kissane, M.D., Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Filming I*CARE Videos

Walter Baile, M.D. works with Greg West, Director, UT Television to produce I*CARE videos.

Telly Awards 2010

I*CARE Wins 3 Telly Awards for Crossroads module

I*CARE Wins 3 Telly Awards for "Crossroads" module

John P. McGovern Award for Excellence in Biomedical Communication