Communication Skills Training for Health Professionals

This one-day course provides an overview of the importance of effective communication skills in a clinical interaction, and emphasizes evidence based communication skills and strategies to support the health professional in common challenging interactions.  The day’s workshop will present a combination of didactics and experiential small group discussions and role plays to practice the communication skills and strategies relevant to the clinician in a variety of clinically sensitive situations with patients and caregivers.

A variety of modules are offered and are designed around the foundations of communication skills in sensitive/clinical encounters to provide skills practice in difficult situations with patients and families.  Our program includes: Responding Empathically to Patients, Responding to Patient Anger or Responding to Challenging Families or Responding to Adverse Events, and Shared Decision Making including clinical Trials or Discussing Death, Dying and End of Life Goals of Care or Discussing Prognosis.   Participating in all three modules, health care professionals will have a strong foundation to facilitate the acquisition of communication skills.

Educational Objectives

  • understand the rationale for communication skills training.
  • understand the rationale for the use of role play in communication skills training.
  • understand the definition of clinical empathy, and recognize the varying empathic opportunities
  • understand the goal and core communication components of responding to patient anger effectively.
  • understand the implications of the ways in which prognosis is discussed.
  • understand the challenges of providing complex clinical trial information in an ethical fashion.
  • understand how to initiate discussions of transition to palliative care, death and dying.


Physicians, Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Social Workers, and other clinicians in the healthcare setting


MSK is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to sponsor continuing medical education for physicians.

Additional Information

See brochure for additional information.

Date & Time(s)


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Rockefeller Research Laboratories
430 East 67th Street
New York, NY 10065



Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Registration Details

Cancellation Policy

If you register for an MSK CME course and need to cancel your registration, please let us know by email at  Up until the day before the course, you can receive a refund of your registration fee minus a $65 processing fee.  At any time, you may substitute another registrant in your place after contacting the CME Office with the relevant information.


Course Director(s)

Patricia A. Parker, PhD
Associate Member and Associate Attending Psychologist
Director, Communication Skills Training & Research Laboratory
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences



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