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Teaching Medical Students About Health Literacy: 2 Chicago Initiatives

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Objective : To develop medical students' skills in interacting with individuals who have limited health literacy.

Methods : Described are 2 novel approaches to health literacy curriculum design. Efforts at both schools have been implemented to improve medical student awareness of health literacy, as well as specific skills in clear communication and strategies that ensure patient understanding.

Results : Preliminary data from one school suggest an increase in use of health literacy behaviors. Curriculum development at both schools is ongoing.

Conclusion : The ultimate goal of these curricula is for students to develop the core skills necessary for effective communication with all patients.

Keywords: communication skills; curriculum; health literacy; medical education

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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