The Netherlands: National Representative Ellen Smets (Deputy National Representative Julia van Weert)

Ellen Smets (1962) is Professor at the department of Medical Psychology at the Academic Medical center/ University of Amsterdam. She earned a masters degree (1987) as a social psychologist. Her doctorate thesis at the University of Amsterdam (1997) addressed cancer patients’ radiotherapy related fatigue. From that time, she has been active in research in the field of medical communication. As Principal Investigator she presently coordinates the research line Medical Communication. The research line Medical Communication has three points of particular interest: 1) General medical communication, with a focus on the exchange of information, decision making and adherence to medical recommendations; 2) Communication in the domain of clinical genetics and genomics. Again, the focus is on information exchange, decision making and adherence to recommendations, but these specifically relate to genetically determined health risks for the individual and/or their offspring; 3) Education in medical communication. This research concerns the evidence based teaching and assessment of medical communication skills and professional behavior of medical students.

Ellen Smets received grants from, among others, the Dutch Cancer Foundation, the Dutch Heart Foundation and the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research. She is currently a member of the scientific committee of the Dutch Cancer Society and of the board of the Association of Researchers in Psychology and Health. She is also the Dutch National Representative for the European Association of Communication in Health Care (EACH). Ellen Smets has written* and presented widely, including both national and international settings. In addition to her scientific work, she teaches medical students regarding health psychology as well as communication skills.