May 2015

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Upcoming Events

    • College Hall 3

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Intensive Workshop in Clinical Ethics Mediation

The Penn Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy is hosting an Intensive Workshops in Clinical Ethics Mediation: Thursday-Sunday, May 28-31, 2015.

The 4-day workshop will run from 9:00-5:00 each day. The Penn Clinical Ethics Mediation Program has offered over 25 intensive workshops since the program's launch in May 2010.

In this Intensive, students will:

  • Learn how to navigate and improve challenging clinical relationships (patient-provider, family-provider, inter-staff conflicts)
  • Learn the techniques of facilitation among a diverse set of stakeholders
  • Learn to effectively manage clinical disputes among and between caregivers, patients and surrogates through mediation
  • Discover to how to define problems and assess underlying interests to generate mutually acceptable options
  • Role-play in variety of clinical situations as both disputants and mediators
  • Practice mediation with professional actors
  • Use video-tapes of simulations to improve mediation techniques and strengthen interpersonal skills
  • Receive constructive feedback in a supportive environment

This workshop is intended for nurses, physicians, clergy, social workers, clinical ethics consultants and members of ethics committees who face clinical ethics conflicts in their role in the healthcare system.


Professional mediators possess a unique skill set applicable to the facilitation of difficult conversations between individuals in emotionally laden situations. An effective mediation process can generate solutions that address the underlying interests of all disputants and resolve conflicts that appear intractable. This skill set has increasingly been recognized as invaluable to the work of clinical ethics consultants as they navigate conflicts between and among patients, families, surrogates and providers. Moreover, given wide-spread agreement that communication failures lie at the root of many clinical conflicts, mediation values and catalyzes the effective communication of individual concerns, values, perspectives and feelings -- all of which are essential to the clinical ethics consultation process. This hands-on Workshop introduces the principal techniques of mediation through the use of simulated role plays with a focus on conflicts caused by communication breakdowns, highly charged value-conflicts, and cultural differences.

Instructor-Student ratio of 1:6. Space is limited. Students will earn Penn course credit equivalent to 1.5 credit hours (one-half of a regular course).

Cost of the workshop is $2,650, which includes meals and materials.  Registration details can be found at:

Workshop Instructors:

Edward Bergman, JD, Founding Faculty and Principal Mediator, Penn Mediation Program

Autumn Fiester, PhD, Director, Penn Mediation Program & Director of Education, Penn Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Lance Wahlert, PhD, Assistant Professor and MBE Program Director, Penn Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy

For more information, contact: