Healthcare Communication: Empathy, Social Media, False Data

Course Description

For a physician (or a future physician), great bedside manner is not simply taught, but rather is an extension of one’s personality in a professional setting. While electronic communication and social media are omnipresent in society today, interpersonal skills are necessary for truly effective communication and education.

This course will identify and cultivate effective communication skills. As individuals and as a class, we will develop and understand foundations for effective health communication needed to build strong and trusting relationships. These fundamental tools will be applicable to interacting with patients, physicians, professors, and people in general. We will identify and develop skills that are essential when conducting challenging conversations.

The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated a new era of medical misinformation where social media shares false data as well as recommendations on health care from unsourced and scientifically flawed reports. Medical professionals and researchers must be able to identify and understand legitimate information as well as critically evaluate suspect conclusions. We will search for papers and studies and identify their strengths and weaknesses to arrive at conclusions to either accept or reject their conclusions. We will also learn how to communicate these findings to various audiences.

Additionally, we will learn how to approach complex and difficult situations based on real-life medical examples. These principles can also be applied to life challenges:

• Learn how to effectively speak to others utilizing empathy and respect
• Learn how to listen and form appropriate questions to stimulate conversation and discussions
• Learn how to have a fantastic bedside manner
• Approach seemingly impossible challenges in a specific systematic manner
• Be comfortable interacting with peers, learning facilitators, and patients
• Learn to communicate technical and scientific information to multiple types of audiences.

This course is best suited for individuals that are interested in learning effective communication tools. This course is focused on healthcare communication, but is transferable to all disciplines and professions.


This course is appropriate for all high school-level students. Prerequisites are not necessary for this lecture series.


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: July 18, 2022 - July 22, 2022
*Duration: 1 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 3:30P-6:20P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Gregory Baker, MD
Course Number: 10431