Pre-Conference Courses

The proceedings for all courses will be held in English but will accommodate participants for whom English is not their first language as far as possible.  We are bear in mind that institutions in different countries will have varying resources in terms of available teachers, simulated patients and technology.

Click the abbreviated course title on the left to see details of the course.

Curriculum development

Marcy Rosenbaum (Faculty Development Consultant, Office of Consultation & Research in Medical Education, University of Iowa) & Jane Ege Møller (Assistant Professor at the Centre for Health Sciences Education, Aarhus University)

Monday 7 September (0900 – 1800) & Tuesday 8 September (0800 – 1430) – 2 days

Course Overview

The primary focus of this two-day course is on how to develop a curriculum suitable to the healthcare setting the participant operates within. The course will look at what to include in the curriculum and how to deliver and evaluate the curriculum. Content will address curriculum development ranging from stand-alone sessions on a specific communication skill area (for example, basic skills, motivational interviewing, bad news telling, etc) to more comprehensive longitudinal communication curriculum for any level of learners.

The Curriculum course will be highly interactive and participant centred and will enable individual participants to formulate concrete plans for the future.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  • apply relevant educational theory to designing effective communication skills curricula
  • understand how to ensure learners master an increasing range of skills and retain them over time
  • select and organise the core content of the communication curriculum
  • tailor content in relation to their learners’ needs
  • select appropriate teaching methods for each component of the curriculum
  • integrate communication with other clinical skills and the rest of the learners’ programme and evaluate the curriculum.

Target audience

The course is meant for teachers of health professionals who wish to develop a new curriculum or extend an existing communication skills curriculum. It is suitable for teachers of a variety of experience of curriculum development.

End-of-life care conversations: Identifying patients’ goals, values and preferences

Jonathan Silverman (Honorary Professor, School of Medicine, Deakin University) & Sandra Winterburn (Associate Professor & Consultation skills Lead, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia).

Monday 7 September (0900 – 1730) & Tuesday 8 September (0900 – 1600) – 2 days

Course Overview

Conversations around prognosis and end of life can be challenging for both health professionals and patients but are vitally important for improving patient experience and outcomes. There is a growing international movement to embed end of life education into medical and healthcare teaching with communication skills being highlighted as an area of particular importance to overcoming existing barriers to advance care planning in clinical practice. This workshop aims to discover what to teach about end of life care by identifying the specific skills and stepwise approaches required to initiate and sustain patient centred conversations which explore patients’ goals, values and preferences in order to reach a shared decision.

Target audience

Communication skills teachers and clinicians

Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Recognise the main challenges for teachers and students in initiating and sustaining conversations about end of life care
  • Describe a range of teachable strategies and skills relating to end of life conversations including:
    • Shared Decision Making – e.g. discussing, goals, values and -preferences for future care and resuscitation
    • Breaking bad news – e.g. moving from active to palliative treatment
    • Managing strong emotions
  • Explain the role of cue-based interviewing in conversations with patients and carers

Observational coding of healthcare communication: how and what?

Dr Janneke Noordman (Senior-researcher, the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research)

Monday 7 September (0900 – 1700) & Tuesday 8 September (0900 – 1230) – 1.5 days

Course Overview

This course focuses on coding communication behaviour in medical consultations. Participants learn different coding schemes, to choose the appropriate coding scheme for answering their research question, understand the pros and cons of observational coding, practice in applying a coding scheme, get insights into analysing and interpreting the data, and common pitfalls of observational coding.

Target audience

Early career researchers in communication in healthcare, advanced researchers (without experience or little experience in observational coding) and healthcare professionals with interest in observational coding of healthcare communication.

Shared decision making: Strengths and limitations of choices of definitions and measures for your research

Arwen Pieterse (Leiden University Medical Centre), Marleen Kunneman (Leiden University Medical Centre & Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN) & Leonie Visser (Amsterdam University Medical Centre)

Date/timings: TBC (1 day)

Course Overview

The focus of the shared decision-making research course will be on choices that researchers need to make when studying shared decision making between patients and clinicians.

The course will be highly interactive and participant centred, with a mixture of experiential learning and didactic teaching. We will explore the suitability of various measures by applying these to consultation transcripts and will explore the fit of definitions and measures to the participants’ own research questions in small groups.

Learning Objectives

The course will enable participants to:

  • KNOW: learn about definitions of shared decision making, and measures to assess it
  • UNDERSTAND: what the discussions are in the field on definitions and measures
  • APPLY: make choices on research methods for own research
  • PRACTICE: with measurement tools
  • REFLECT: on the strengths and limitations of choices

Target audience

The course is directed towards researchers with some background in research on healthcare communication, who have some prior knowledge about shared decision making, but wish to explore (other) possible ways to address the topic.

Knowledge translation and dissemination for health promotion

Sara Rubinelli & Nicola Diviani (Swiss Paraplegic Research/University of Lucerne)

Date/timings TBC (1 day)

Course Overview

This course empowers scientists and practitioners to engage with scientific evidence for health promotion at the institutional and mass media level. Specifically it has two aims. First, to instruct on knowledge translation as the process to work with stakeholders to apply relevant evidence for improving practice. Second, to instruct on how to talk in mass-media context and to build a social media profile.

Can I Really Say That? Navigating Feedback Across Differences

Calvin Chou (MD, PhD, FACH), Denise Davis (MD, FACH) & Kara Myers (CNM, FACH) from University of California, San Francisco

Tuesday 8 September (0800 – 1430) – 1 day

Course Overview

Feedback in health professions education is a set of fundamental communication skills for effective teaching and requires knowledge, attitudes and skills that, though possible to learn, take a lifetime to master. Conducting feedback conversations across professional, racial, ethnic, religious, gender, LGBTQ+ identities and other power differences adds complexity to this process. Additionally, faculty competence in fostering a positive learning climate for all team members remains aspirational due to differences in privilege and powerful social constructs that can be extremely difficult to name and disrupt. Participants will learn to recognize and begin to overcome personal obstacles, including implicit bias and stereotype threat, and practice advanced skills in giving and receiving feedback across differences using their own challenging cases.

Target Audience

Anyone who seeks to further develop their skills in providing and receiving feedback across differences in health professions education

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize, name, and begin to overcome obstacles in giving and receiving feedback across differences in health professions education
  • Describe strategies of giving feedback that mitigate the effects of implicit bias and stereotype threat
  • Apply these strategies to challenging real-life scenarios that include differences across race, ethnicity, religion, gender, LGBTQI identities and/or profession


Fees for courses, based on their duration are:

Category Total (€uro)
1 day
EACH/ACH Member € 215
Non-Member € 250
Student € 155
1.5 days
EACH/ACH Member € 335
Non-Member € 380
Student € 170
2 days
EACH/ACH Member € 440
Non-Member € 500
Student € 210