Teresa L. Schraeder, MD
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Family Medicine
Alpert Medical School
Physician communication skills are an essential aspect of medical education as well as the practice of medicine, from excellent writing and effective speaking to improved communication with patients, peers, care teams, and the press. Building bridges within the profession and with the rest of the society, relies on the individual and collective skills of physicians to listen, question, translate, synthesize, analyze, write and speak effectively.
The Medical Journalism and Physician Communications Scholarly Concentration will offer guidance, support and structure to medical students interested in all aspects of medical writing and communicating.
First, medical journalism is at the forefront of this concentration. Medical and science narrative non-fiction in the form of popular books, articles, blogs and podcasts, currently permeates our world. Today, medical journalists translate, illuminate and expose the complexity and mystery of medicine at a variety of levels. This body of work provides insight into the two worlds of medicine and journalism and shows us how shared skills of observation, conversation, empathy, translation and writing are so relevant to understanding each other and caring for our patients.
This concentration would be suitable for students who would like to learn not only how to read and critique the work of medical journalists but how to improve their own writing, journalistic and communication skills from the academic press to popular articles for the public.
Medical students interested in the power of the word using a variety of different media would be encouraged to sign up for this concentration. The written, spoken, electronically broadcast or visually displayed forms of expression regarding medical information will all be part of the curricula. The students will focus on their particular area of interest in their particular medium and then meet regularly with other students, complete research and writing projects, provide updates to their mentors, and meet all of the ongoing requirements throughout medical school.
The Physician as Communicator Scholarly Concentration, not only provides a foundation of helpful information and support but will also give the student a greater understanding of the world of medical journalism and the broader world of physician communication. Students will learn how to critically review and assess medical writing and language, including editing and revision skills as they navigate submission, final editing and publishing. This concentration will offer support, guidance and tools to help the student complete a unique writing or media research project of their own design.
The Physician as Communicator Concentration can easily overlap or help facilitate and encompass ideas and topics from any of the other scholarly concentrations. Any student who wants to focus on one of the other concentrations specifically could also benefit from involvement in Physician as Communicator to help collect, write and present their research work and/or to take part in the preclinical elective course on medical journalism. We welcome all students and look forward to hearing about their ideas.