About Us

The Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice (IPEP) is a leader in medical communication training focused on difficult conversations among clinicians, patients and families. IPEP specializes in developing and conducting innovative educational communication programs and interventions targeting difficult conversations across a wide range of healthcare settings in pediatric and adult medicine. Programs, interventions, and pedagogy are based on robust research conducted by our faculty. Our geographical reach extends locally, nationally, and internationally.


Our mission is to improve healthcare by enhancing communication among patients, families and clinicians. We believe that effective patient-provider communication in healthcare is an ethical imperative that promotes patient satisfaction, clinician well-being, outcomes, and safety. 


Co-founded by Elaine Meyer, Robert Truog, and David Browning, the Institute grew out of the success of the Program to Enhance Relational and Communication Skills (PERCS). PERCS began at Boston Children’s Hospital in 2002 by offering innovative, experiential day-long workshops focused on difficult conversations in pediatric critical care. As PERCS expanded its programming over time to encompass a wide range of difficult conversations in pediatric as well as adult healthcare, the need for an institutional home and organizational structure to support these initiatives became clear. With the generous support of Boston Children’s Hospital, IPEP was subsequently launched in March 2007. To date, more than 5,000 healthcare professionals have participated in our training and educational programs.

What We Do

The Institute’s work centers around three core areas designed to enhance communication in health care. These three areas - education and training, consultation, and research - are integrated to produce state-of-the-art interventions and inform the field.  Our strategy is premised upon a commitment to provide a world class and empirically-based understanding of how to navigate difficult medical conversations with the purpose of enhancing the healthcare experience for clinicians, patients and families.

Our Values

  • Enhanced communication between clinicians and patients improves healthcare
  • Communication in healthcare is a matter of ethics
  • Enhanced communication is a two-way street
  • Pedagogical philosophy:
    • Facilitated, reflective group learning
    • Improvised simulation/enactments
    • Multidimensional faculty
    • A safe learning environment

Our Approach

Our approach integrates innovative research-based interventions and sound educational practices within an ethical grounding that informs all our work.