Spring 2013, section 0414, Weil 408

Instructor: Mickey S Schafer, PhD
email: msscha@ufl.edu
Office: 201 Rolfs Hall
Office Hours: M/W, 6-7th and by appt.

About this Class 

Medical professionals have a special obligation to communicate without ambiguity, either in the written or spoken word; they depend on their communication skills to interact productively with other medical experts, their colleagues, clients and their families, and the public at large. This team-taught course will provide students with the opportunity to participate in a range of activities focusing on researching, processing, and sharing medical information with others. Given our current evidence-based medical culture, students will learn to do research using medical databases and other research tools, as well as discovering how best to organize and present their findings to other medical professionals. The healthcare professional must often act as intermediary between the specialized world of scientific research and the more pragmatic world of the general public; consequently, we will also investigate how best to present technical medical information to the layperson. (Need further convincing? Check out the following article on the Clinical Skills Examination

This course is predicated on the idea that the ability to write and speak clearly are learned skills, not innate talents, which means that better communication can be learned by practice. Students will experiment with a range of communication strategies in class: lectures will be followed by focused written and oral activities that allow students to put theory and strategies into practice. We will read and dissect examples of both good in order to learn from them, in addition to examining several types of medical writing. Students will also participate in a variety of speaking assignments in class, ranging from impromptu to prepared presentations. We will discuss techniques for improving public speaking, interviewing and listening skills, and patient-doctor communication.

Medical Communication Project

This is a two part assignment in which you get to explore the process of evaluating different kinds of medical information.  First, you will dive into the web and analyze the kinds of health information found in cyber space.  Second, you will produce a complementary pair of documents: a brief  review paper targeted at medical professionals and a patient literature handout appropriate for educating the public.

Medical School Application

Before you can be chosen to interview, you must apply to medical school.  To this end, you will get the opportunity to write (and rewrite!) the "personal statement," the essay which likely gets your foot in the door (along with your obviously stellar GPA and MCAT scores!).  Also, you  will plan a chronological-functional resume designed for a particular intership which will also aid you in filling out the 15 "job and/or experience" spaces available for this information on the AMCAS application.  


Team CME Paper

This is the written complement to the CME project.  Your team will prepare a proposal, a "take away" handout, the CE itself and an evaluation report.

ENC 3254 "Writing for Premed" fulfills the University's General Education requirement composition (C) and 6,000 words of writing (W).


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