Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics

Palliative Medicine Communication Course  |  Pittsburgh, PA

As a palliative care clinician, do you want to take your communication skills to the next level? As a fellowship director, do you want to see your fellows’ communication skills improve, while meeting ACGME requirements for training in the core competencies of interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and patient care?

We are excited to share two dates for this year’s PalliTalk course. They are December 13-15, 2023 and January 17-19, 2024. PalliTalk is a three-day course modeled on the acclaimed OncoTalk and GeriTalk courses based on VitalTalk teaching methods.

Learners in this course will focus on advanced communication skills through practicing communication in real time with simulated patients and coaching from expert faculty in a supportive and safe environment. They will learn how to skillfully handle scenarios such as

  • A patient who, in discussions about code status, says “I want everything done”
  • An anxious patient who asks “Why is this happening to me?”
  • A family member who is hoping for a miracle
  • A patient who questions the doctor about her own religious belief and asks her to pray with him
  • A family member who asks for a feeding tube for a patient who is dying of cancer
  • Intra-family conflict about end of life decision

Comments from previous participants:


“It was a great learning experience that gave me more confidence.”

“It was valuable. I appreciated having a safe space to work on trying new things.”


Date: December 13-15-2023  OR  January 17-19, 2024 // 9:00 am-4:30 pm

Format: Hybrid. Mornings will be virtual and afternoons will be in person. Participants will need high speed internet connection in a quiet setting for the mornings of the course.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA


  • UPMC Internal Fee: $600 per trainee; $1,000 per practicing physician (NP or PA)
Registration Deadline: September 30, 2023


To register, please print out the appropriate registration form and mail/email, with payment, to:
Registration Form – December 13-15, 2023  (forthcoming)
Registration Form – January 17-19, 2024  (forthcoming)

Chris Chavlick
University of Pittsburgh
Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics
Division of General Internal Medicine
3600 Forbes Avenue, Suite 405
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-864-2856
Fax: 412-692-4315

Please contact Chris Chavlick at to discuss a cancellation.

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