Our Mission
To promote relational learning for health care professionals that integrates patient and family perspectives, professionalism, and the everyday ethics of clinical practice

Writing Institute Debuts at Faculty Retreat

writing institute logoAt IPEP’s January Faculty Retreat, we participated in a workshop on developing an IPEP “Writing Institute.” The idea of the Writing Institute was sparked by recognition of the many talented writers and readers within IPEP, as well as our growing academic and non-academic writing output. The aim of the Writing Institute is to offer space and support for members of the IPEP community to develop and share their writing, both for personal development and to further IPEP’s mission. Our hope is to encourage and nurture all forms of writing -including personal narratives, academic papers, blogs, fiction and nonfiction, social media and others – in an atmosphere open to writers of all levels of experience, as well as supportive readers. Led by Donna Luff, PhD, Education Leader for the Advancing Relational Learning Worldwide project, and Elizabeth Rider, MSW, MD, IPEP’s Director of Academic Programs and member of the Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Medicine, we brainstormed our vision for the Writing Institute using a lively and interactive inquiry approach to answer the following questions: What kind of writing, if any would you like to do? What can you offer? What support/help would you like with your writing?  We also had the opportunity to read and reflect together on a personal narrative essay, and even participate in 5 minutes of “free-writing” of our own! The retreat workshop generated lots of interest, support, and great suggestions, which included: writing groups, reading clubs, craft or guest speaker seminars, an IPEP portfolio of readings, and occasional retreats. Donna Luff, Beth Rider and Adena Cohen-Bearak, MEd, MPH are compiling all suggestions, along with specific offers and expressions of interest, so we can move forward together in developing this exciting new venture.

In addition, please check out a pilot writing program hosted by the Center for Faculty Development and Diversity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital: Narrative Medicine, Reflective Writing, as well as a Harvard Medical School CME course offered to healthcare professionals who want to advance their communication skills or get published: Writing, Publishing, and Social Media for Healthcare Professionals. We encourage you to register soon to secure a place!

Two NEW IPEP Publications

wisdom sigallWe are proud of the recent publication of Wisdom in Medicine: What Helps Physicians After a Medical Error? with authors Margaret Plew-Ogan, MD, MS, Natalie May, PhD, Justine Owens, PhD, Monika Ardelt, PhD, and IPEP Faculty Associates, Jo Shapiro, MD and Sigall Bell, MD, in Academic Medicine. The article examines factors that help doctors gain wisdom that can inform educational and peer support programs, and may facilitate the development of specific tools to assist doctors after harmful errors occur. Investigators identified eight themes reflecting what helped physician wisdom exemplars cope positively: talking about it, disclosure and apology, forgiveness, a moral context, dealing with imperfection, learning/becoming an expert, preventing recurrences/improving teamwork, and helping others/teaching. The authors concluded that the path forged by doctors who coped well with medical error highlights specific ways to help clinicians move through this difficult experience so that they avoid devastating professional outcomes and have the best chance of not just recovery but positive growth.

worlds intersectWe are proud of the first article reporting on PERCS Rounds entitled When worlds intersect: practical and ethical challenges when caring for international patients in the NICU with authors Thorsten Langer, MD, Christy Cummings, MD and Elaine Meyer PhD, RN, in the Journal of Perinatology. The article addresses common issues that can arise when caring for international patients and their families in NICUs across the United States. The authors suggest that the educational and supportive PERCS Rounds may be a promising approach as a format to reflect upon, support, and discuss the challenging issues that these patients face. The authors suggest strategies aimed at improving clinician-parent-institutional relationship by enhancing communication, realigning expectations, increasing cultural sensitivity, identifying ethical conflict and acknowledging moral distress, and improving the coordination of care.

IPEP Partners with International Charter to Bring Core Values into Healthcare Interactions and Education

Charter LOGO v good croppedIPEP joins major healthcare and educational institutions in Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Uganda, and the US, as a Partner of the International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare. The Charter was developed through an international, interprofessional collaborative effort to restore the primacy of core values necessary for practicing compassionate, ethical, and safe healthcare around the world.  Using a rigorous 3-year qualitative research process to identify and develop a framework  for values essential for every healthcare interaction, the Charter delineates five categories of fundamental human values, with sub-values within each:

  • Compassion
  • Respect
  • Commitment to integrity and ethical practice
  • Commitment to excellence
  • Justice in healthcare

Charter - Wordle -all valuesThe framework of values articulated in the Charter underpin ongoing and developing clinical care projects, educational programs and research efforts inhealthcare settings internationally. At IPEP, a Partner of the Charter since 2014, we have implemented values curricula in several IPEP programs including IPEP’s international faculty development course, Difficult Conversations in Healthcare: Teaching and Practice, Pedagogy and Practicalities Seminar, Difficult Conversations in Outpatient Pediatrics, and IPEP Faculty Retreats.

Elizabeth Rider, MSW, MD, IPEP’s Director of Academic Programs and member of the Department of Medicine, is a leader of the Charter initiative. Created in early 2011, the Charter is a major initiative of the International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Curtin University, Western Australia is a strategic partner. For more information about the Charter, please click here and you can downlaod the paper here.

Blog Post for Elaine Meyer’s TEDx Talk

elaineOn the one-year anniversary of On Being Present, Not Perfect, the TEDx Talk by Elaine Meyer, PhD, RN, a blog post recently went live. Elaine reflects, “Delivering the TED Talk, I distinctly remember hitting my stride when describing our approach to holding challenging healthcare conversations at the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice. I was on terra firma and the story arc bowed gracefully. I enjoyed sharing the Wizard of Oz metaphor-courage; brains and heart-to highlight the core ingredients of honest, effective conversations. I had contributed something that I hoped would improve the emotional standard of care.” To read the blog in its entirety, please click here.

Register for an upcoming workshop

PERCS Workshops and Rounds Calendar

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Monthly Newsletter

To learn more about some of the exciting developments that have recently occurred within the Institute community, please click here. To view past issues of the newsletter, please click here. To sign up to receive the newsletter, please click here.

Register for the Difficult Conversations in Healthcare: Teaching & Practice Course

Selected Articles

Microethics: The Ethics of Everyday Clinical Practice
Troug RD, Brown SD, Browning D, Hundert EM, Rider EA, Bell SK, Meyer EC

Courage, brains and heart: Lessons from the Wizard of Oz for difficult healthcare conversations
Meyer EC

The “Open Letter”: Radiologists’ Reports in the Era of Patient Web Portals
Bruno MA, Pestcavage-Thomas JM, Mohr MJ, Bell SK, Brown SD

Come on little lady.
Howley MC

Integrating actors into a simulation program – a primer
Pascucci RC, Weinstock P, O’Connor BE, Fancy KM, Meyer EC

Difficult conversations in health care: Cultivating relational learning to address the hidden curriculum.
Browning DM, Meyer EC, Brodsky DD, Truog RD

PERCS Books & Films

Faculty Education Fellowship in Medical Humanism and Professionalism

Advancing Relational Learning Worldwide

Aligning Family-Team Expectations During Surgical Consent

PERCS Rounds

The Cardiovascular and Critical Care PERCS Rounds (“Please Don’t Tell My Child Anything: Clinicians Obligations, Parental Wishes, & the Child’s Right to Know“) will take place at 12pm on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at Boston Children’s Hospital, facilitated by IPEP’s Elaine Meyer, Christine Rachwal and Mary Anne Bell.

PERCS – NICU Rounds (“Custody, Communication, & Care: A Team Approach“) will take place at 11am on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at Boston Children’s Hospital, facilitated by IPEP’s Elaine Meyer, Christine Rachwal, Deborah White and Mary Anne Bell.

These monthly forums for Boston Children’s Hospital employees are an opportunity for hospital staff to engage in interdisciplinary discussion and learn about challenging questions in everyday professional practice.  If you are interested in learning more about these events, please contact us.

Archived Features

The IPEP leadership team and faculty have been showcased in a number of feature articles and announcements over the past few years. To read more, click here.