Clinician Training

Communication Skills Training

We address the gap in clinician proficiency in having high-quality advance care planning (ACP) conversations with seriously ill patients. Our 3-hour communication skills course teaches how to conduct ACP discussions using the Serious Illness Conversation Guide. The small-group session includes didactics and facilitated skills practice with a standardized patient.

Course attendees often have disparate specialties and roles. We find that this enhances the learning experience as clinicians may learn about issues and solutions from across the organization. In addition, due to the team-based nature of most implementations, clinicians benefit from understanding each other's responsibilities. Attendees may include:

  • Attending Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Advanced Practice Providers
  • Fellows
  • Medical Students
  • Residents
  • Social Workers
  • Rehab Clinicians
  • Dietitians
  • Chaplains

Training Objectives

To teach:

  • Components of the Serious Illness Conversation Guide
  • How to attend to patient and family emotional responses

To improve:

  • Communication skills employed in advance care planning discussions
  • Demonstrating empathy during these discussions
  • Assessing patient's illness understanding and preferences for information
  • Delivering prognostic information to patients
  • Exploring patient's goals and values for their care
  • Managing provider and patient anxiety in the discussion

CME Accreditation

Completion of the Serious Illness Communication Skills Training provides CME credits for Stanford Medicine learners from: American Medical Association (AMA), American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), and Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)


Contact Us

To connect with our team about training, email At this time, our trainings are only open to Stanford Medicine clinicians.