Harvard Macy Institute Podcast

The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast S3 E2: Just in Time Simulation for High Stakes Communication

January 9, 2022

The Harvard Macy Institute Podcast aims to connect our Harvard Macy Institute community and to develop our interest in health professions education topics and literature. Our podcast is hosted by our Program for Educators in the Health Professions course faculty Victoria Brazil, and will feature interviews with health professions education authors and their research papers.

This episode of the Harvard Macy Institute podcast is a joint release with Simulcast, and we spoke with Laura Rock – a critical care physician about using ‘just in time’ simulation for high stakes communication with patients and families.

Practising communication, with good feedback, helps us get better at our jobs in healthcare. This is especially important for ‘high stakes communication’ (but really is there any other kind 😊). In this episode of the HMI podcast, Vic speaks with Laura Rock about her recent paper: Communication as a High-Stakes Clinical Skill: "Just-in-Time" Simulation and Vicarious Observational Learning to Promote Patient- and Family-Centered Care and to Improve Trainee Skill.

Her key messages are about the power of rehearsal with feedback for better communication, and the need to practice the actual words we will use. We highlight that this approach appropriately elevates the status of communication as a critical skill, along with other procedural skills. Laura describes strategies like the use of scripts, and developing the ‘microskills’ of communication, as well as recognising the fundamental role of recognizing and responding to emotions in both patients and learners.

Laura is a pulmonologist and critical care doctor who works in the intensive care unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, USA, affiliated with Harvard Medical School. She has a particular interest in communication and teamwork – which she teaches at her own institution and with the Boston based Center for Medical Simulation.


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