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Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice

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.

Outline of IPEP online courses available to our Fellowship participants

ISQua Fellows have complimentary access to IPEP'S online courses on Disclosure and Apology and on Aligning Expectations for Informed Consent (non-CME) as detailed below:

Disclosure and Apology (after Medical Errors and Adverse Events)

Speaking with patients or their families after a medical error or an adverse medical event is one of the most difficult conversations a clinician can have. Yet most clinicians have little or no training in how to prepare for and conduct these conversations. This Disclosure and Apology course offers providers the tools, skills, and practice needed to conduct these difficult conversations with confidence and compassion. Developed by Boston Children’s Hospital’s Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, in collaboration with the OPENPediatrics platform, the aim of this course is to help clinicians prepare and practice for disclosure and apology, and to seek appropriate support for these challenging conversations.

Course Format
The Disclosure and Apology course is organized into three parts. Parts I and III are self-paced and can be completed online at any time. Part II is a live, moderated online workshop guided by our expert faculty. We strongly suggest you participate in the moderated workshop after completing Part I of the course and before completing Part III. Details about the next available workshop and registration will be posted in the Moderated Workshop section of the curriculum or by visiting the IPEP website.


Learning Objectives
By the end of this course, learners will:

  • Evaluate existing experience with disclosure and apology
  • Incorporate core relational values and guidelines and tips for disclosure and apology into practice
  • Prepare and practice for these conversations
  • Outline next steps to continue to develop relational skills for disclosure and apology
  • Promote the importance of transparency, peer and professional support, and fair resolution for patients, families and clinicians in errors/adverse events within institutions.


Suggested audience
This training is helpful for: physicians, nurses, social workers, and other providers who work closely with patients and their families.

ISQua credits
The Disclosure and Apology (after Medical Errors and Adverse Events) course carries the following credits:
Part I = 2 credits
Part II (live workshop) = 2 credits
Part III = 2 credits

Please submit a certification of completion for each part of this course as an elective on FELIX.


Aligning Expectations for Informed Consent

Communication for informed consent is vital for patients, families, and providers. Yet, it is often inadequate, resulting in poorly aligned expectations for a surgery, procedure, or course of treatment. The pre-operative encounter represents a particular challenge for surgeons, who often have limited time to establish relationships and trust with patients and families. This can result in misaligned expectations between patients, families, and providers. Such mismatch can lead to frustration, anger, and potentially litigation. This course focuses on improving communication and relational skills during the informed consent process to better align provider and family expectations, with a specific focus on surgical informed consent.


Course Format
Based on the pedagogy of Boston Children’s Hospital’s Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, this innovative, self-paced course is structured into five lessons that include:

  • Research on why informed consent is problematic for patients, providers, and insurers
  • Differences in expectations for surgical informed consent from the perspectives of experienced patients, families, and providers
  • Realistic enactment of a pre-surgical consultation to align expectations, featuring professional actors and real clinicians
  • Didactics and practical tips on how to better align patient, family, and provider expectations


Learning Objectives
By the end of this course, learners will:

  • Articulate patient, family, and provider perspectives regarding the importance of enhanced communication around informed consent
  • Explain the distinction between informed consent as a form to be completed and a process for aligning expectations
  • Utilize strategies for aligning expectations to enhance the effectiveness of informed consent practices


Suggested Audience
This training is helpful for: Physicians, nurses, and other providers who work closely with patients and their families during informed consent for surgery and more broadly. 

ISQua credits

The 'Aligning Expectations for Informed Consent' course carries 3 credits.
Please submit a certification of completion of this course as an elective on FELIX.


Access Information

For more information (including details about CME credits for an optional charge), please contact Caroline Usher at cusher@isqua.org