You Can Teach Every Patient: A Health Literacy and Clear Communication Curriculum for Pediatric Clerkship Students

Date of Review: May, 2021

This resource, from MedEdPortal, is a 30-minute didactic session and a 90-minute interactive workshop designed to teach pediatric clerkship students about health literacy and clear communication skills. The 30-minute didactic session focuses on health literacy: the definition of, the background of, the impact on clinical care, and the prevalence of health literacy in the United States. The second half focuses on evidence-based clear communication skills. The four skills: clear language, teach-back, effectively encourage patient questions (using an open-ended technique), and pictures were introduced through the Can Teach Every Patient (CTEP) mnemonic. 1 to 2 weeks after the didactic session, students participate in a 90-minute interactive workshop. The goal of the workshop is to observe and practice using the four clear communication skills. Students review key concepts from the didactic session and watch a video of a simulated patient encounter to critique the communication skills utilized. The rest of the workshop focuses on practicing clear communication skills. Students are taught to use an open-ended technique to encourage patient questions and discuss how to use pictures in clinical care. In small groups, students practice explaining cases using clear language and receive feedback. Role-play exercises are utilized to practice the teach-back technique, effectively encouraging questions, and a final exercise to practice using all four of the communication skills. The session ends with a discussion that summarizes key points and students’ reflections about takeaways that could inform their clinical practice. This curriculum is appropriate for clinical medical students, residents, attendings, and other health care providers. –Ashti Doobay-Persaud MD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:


Drexel University College of Medicine and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children

Where was the Curriculum Implemented:

Philadelphia, PA

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:


Clinical Specialty:


Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Self-reported learner attitude

Self-reported learner knowledge

Measured in learner knowledge

Measured learner behavior in simulated setting

Outcome and Study Design:

Post only

Level of Learner Assessment:

Appreciation of content/attitude assessment (self-reflection, blogging with rubric)

Knowledge Acquisition (MCQ, IRAT, GRAT)

Demonstration of skill in a controlled environment (OSCE, Simulation)

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(your message will only be visible after moderation)