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Our 2.5-day Skill-Building Workshop

Jan 6 – 8, 2025

Join us for a 2.5-day Healthcare Communication skill-building workshop for medical educators, physicians, nurses, and teaching artists. Through an interactive curriculum based in arts and humanities, this immersive session uncovers and develops your authentic style, and helps build your communication toolbox to become more adaptable when speaking with patients, students, funders, the media—and even your own family. You’ll participate in discussions, innovative exercises, reflections, and build community to increase wellness. Our overarching goal is to rewire the way healthcare providers think about communication in medicine, and address the importance of awareness, self-healing, and self-compassion.

This deep-dive experience can serve as a stand-alone opportunity or become your first step as a trainer to bolster your facilitation skills and learn ways of integrating these lessons into your curriculum. Our scaffolded program includes subsequent interactive sessions on Zoom, online modules with facilitation guides for integration into the classroom, and annual “booster” workshops to share best practices and help move the needle as a global community. Join the Center for Compassionate Communication to help us build stronger connections with patients, audiences, and ourselves.

 Registration opening soon:

 If you'd like to be notified when registration opens for the Lead with Compassion workshop, fill out this 2-question interest form and we'll send a message to your inbox!

“Listen to what some of our recent fellowship graduates say about our curriculum:”



Two Artist Fellows say: "I feel like I got more FROM the doctors and nurses than I gave TO them. It was life-changing!"


Hear how emergency room doctor Rachna Subramony applies lessons learned to her challenging work:



Lead With Compassion: 


 Day 1:  Foundational Tools: Making Connections

9:00am – 5:00pm - Pepper Canyon Hall, suite 440

We will focus today on awareness, connection, listening, flexibility, and designing a clear message about complicated information for a lay audience. We will review important research that validates the importance of compassionate communication in medicine for healthcare providers as well as patients and families.  Immersive exercises will build strong team engagement, foster expression, make room for vulnerability and lay the foundation for speaking with clarity, compassion, and authenticity. Participants are encouraged to decide on a topic they struggle to explain to the lay public prior to the session.

Coffee/snacks provided in the morning and afternoon.  LUNCH is provided.

 Learning Objectives:
  • Recognize the value behind compassionate communication in medicine
  • Identify aspects of my identity that influence personal perspectives
  • Discover ways to lead communication encounters based on the needs of the listener
  • Describe tools and structures that lead to clarity and audience-specific messaging
  • Practice techniques to make a message clear and vivid
  • Develop skills in awareness, listening and flexibility
  • Demonstrate the impact of personal connection in speaking

 Day 1 Schedule

9:00 – 9:30                   Making the case for compassionate communication
9:30 - 10:30                  Connecting through improvisation
10:30 – 10:45               BREAK
10:45 – noon                Clarifying a complicated message
Noon to 1:00                LUNCH PROVIDED
1:00 – 2:30                   Structure matters
2:30 – 2:45                   BREAK
2:45 – 3:30                   Speaking Plainly
3:30 – 3:40                   BREAK
3:40 – 4:30                   Your story
4:30 – 5:00                   Reflective writing and wrap up

 Day 2:  Challenging Conversations in Medicine

9:00am – 5:00pm - Pepper Canyon Hall, room 440

The focus today will be on challenging conversations in medicine and include roleplays, group sharing, and vulnerable conversations.  The curriculum is scaffolded to provide applications to our foundational tools in observation, listening and connecting - and an opportunity to share and practice the art of medicine in a brave, supportive space.  This will be a highly emotional day, with important breaks and reflective writing to process your learning and your hot buttons.  There is nothing to prepare for this day’s session.

Coffee/snacks provided in the morning and afternoon.  LUNCH is provided.

 Learning Objectives/Morning – Recognizing core values:

  • Analyze and practice the value of perspective-taking in an emotional conversation  
  • Recognize the ladder of inference and relationship to conflict management  
  • Practice dealing with emotion through roleplay  
 Learning Objectives/Afternoon – Sharing serious news: 
  • Recognize the difficulty of describing emotion  
  • Practice ordering information with the headline 
  • Practice emotional encounter through role-play  
  • Reflect on challenges that hinder communication in emotional situations 
  • Describe successful techniques used in the past

 Day 2 Schedule

9:00 – 9:30                  Finding common ground
9:30 - 10:30                 Recognizing core values
10:30 – 10:45              BREAK
10:45 – 11:30              Dealing with emotion roleplays
11:30 – noon               Our hot buttons
Noon to 1:00               LUNCH PROVIDED
1:00 – 1:30                  Group discussion
1:30 – 2:15                  Identifying emotion in ourselves
2:15 – 2:40                  Bottom line up front
2:40 – 2:55                  BREAK
2:55 – 4:00                  Holding space roleplays
4:00 – 4:15                  BREAK
4:15 – 4:25                  Reflective writing
4:25 – 5:00                  Closing discussion and wrap up

 Day 3: Narrative humility

9:00am – noon - Pepper Canyon Hall, room 440

This culminating session will expand the applications of our learning into important conversations and skill development around unconscious bias and microaggressions. Our work will include discussions, roleplays, and an opportunity to think as a team around vulnerabilities, misunderstandings, and intent vs. impact. There is a 20-minute reading to prepare for this session that will be emailed prior to your arrival. We will conclude the morning with closing conversations and provide a working lunch to share follow-up training and discuss your experience. 

Coffee/snacks provided in the morning.  A working LUNCH is provided today.

  Learning Objectives:

  • Expand the capacity of awareness for the self and others
  • Practice attunement through roleplay
  • Evaluate the role of the bystander
  • Describe concrete actions in the face of injustice
  • Develop skills in narrative humility

 Day 3 Schedule

9:00 – 9:30                   Our Identity                        
9:30 - 10:35                  Narrative humility and Dominic roleplays
10:35 – 10:45               BREAK
10:45 – 11:40               Roleplays continued and finding our voice as a bystander
11:40 – 11:50               Reflective writing
11:50 – noon                BREAK
Noon – 1:00                 LUNCH PROVIDED – A working lunch - Next steps