Let's Talk: A Fun Way to Teach Physician Communication

Topic: Education



Training attending and resident physicians in the art of family conferences and patient/family communication is a vital component of Palliative Care outreach.  Our team partnered with local professional actors to bring live training to the clinicians. Thorough character studies provided the actors with background information and scripting; basic case studies (with medical, familial, social histories) gave the physicians and interdisciplinary team enough information to begin the conversation.  In order to make the learning accessible, the session was designed to take only one hour from each clinician's day.  The room was set up with a basic video recorder, a few chairs in a circle for the meeting, and other chairs set back for the observers (PC physicians and others trained in debriefing).  The physician and other team members arrived and were given 5 minutes to review the case study and have a brief huddle to plan their meeting, then the actors came in and the meeting proceeded.  After 20-30 minutes, we debriefed the meeting, inviting reflection and feedback from the participants and observers.  Video recordings were made available through a private YouTube channel for later viewing and reflection by the participants.


  • Katy Hyman, MDIV
  • Program Coordinator, Palliative Care
  • Long Beach Memorial Medical Center
  • 2801 Atlantic Ave
  • Long Beach, CA 90806


  • Casey Hudson, LCSW
  • Denis McCourt, MFA
  • Rebecca Yamarik, MD
  • Shannon Moore, MD
  • Sheryl Faulk, BCC
  • Wendy Linderholm, PsyD

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