Build your communication superpowers!

Our new app takes a fresh approach: think of it as a stack of flashcards with handy phrases, sorted by topic. You can use it as a handy pocket reference. But the app does also does something unique: it sends you a daily notification about a new skill to try! Swipe on the daily notification to see that day's tip, and then tap on the card to get a link to the reference. It's a sleek way to build your communication superpowers. 

Live from Chicago

A VitalTalk extra from the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2016 meeting in Chicago: two must-read articles--an editorial to send your oncology friends in JAMA, & one by a VitalTalk alum in the New York Times (Tim Gilligan writes about what to ask patients about prognosis) followed by a tip about how to know when you shouldn't ask another question.

Family dynamics

Understanding just 3 elements of family functioning can enable you to be much more effective in the setup and followup to a complex family conference. You'll need to be fluent in the communication skills for serious illness that we've discussed earlier--but these 3 elements open up new tools. For those of you who have ever wondered about how to think about a complex family (i.e. all of us!).

Beyond Naming

When you are with a patient whose emotions are running high, acknowledging their emotion by naming it can help that person move forward in the conversation.  But there are pitfalls with naming too - see what we recommend to make your NURSE statements more effective!

Hoping for a cure

Have you ever asked a patient what they're hoping for, and they reply: "I'm hoping for a cure". When your medical judgment tells you that a cure isn't in the cards? The first time this happened to me, I didn't quite know what to reply: "Uh, well, i'm feeling like i wished i hadn't asked that question?" Not so good. Fortunately, there is something you can say: in fact, you can align with your patient, and even keep the conversation moving forward. Check it out... With special thanks to the Vitaltalkers we met in Copenhagen!