News from Upstate
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828
Aided by grant, Upstate to develop professionalism training program for medical residents
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Upstate Medical University has received a $50,000 national grant to further develop an Upstate program, “Learning to TALK (Treat All Like Kin),” aimed at improving communication skills and professionalism for medical residents. The grant was awarded by the Josiah Macy Foundation and Institute on Medicine as a Profession.
“Learning to TALK,” developed at Upstate in 2008 by Stephen Knohl, MD, teaches medical residents how to be more effective communicators by using communication-intense scenarios. Examples of scenarios can be making an apology, delivering unpleasant news or dealing with a difficult colleague or patient.
The grant will help further develop the program, adding interactive cases on professionalism for medical residents and fellows at Upstate Medical University. Eventually, this work will be adapted and disseminated nationally through a partnership with the American College of Physicians, one of the largest professional organizations of physicians in the United States.
The “Learning To TALK” program is a three-year program with 28 residents in each level of training. More than 120 residents and 60 fellows have participated in the program since it began five years ago.
“I feel that the ‘Learning To Talk’ program has given me the opportunity to improve on my abilities to approach a difficult patient-doctor scenario,” said Christopher Lau, a former medical resident who participated in the program. “It gives one the unique opportunity to watch your own idiosyncrasies and improve upon skills that you never know you had.”
The grant was awarded to Kathy Faber-Langendoen, MD, professor and chair of Bioethics and Humanities, who will serve as principal investigator; Stephen Knohl, MD, associate professor of medicine; and Lisa Oliver of the Department of Medicine.
“This funding helps us create innovative ways to teach residents and fellows about their professional responsibilities in an increasingly complicated environment,” said Faber-Langendoen. “Upstate’s partnership with the American College of Physicians allows us to disseminate this work nationally, for the benefit of internal medicine residents across the United States.”
Caption: Under a national grant, a professionalism training program for medical residents, created by Stephen Knohl, MD, Upstate associate professor of medicine, right, (at a career advisory dinner) will be adapted and disseminated nationally through a partnership with the American College of Physicians.
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