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Providing education and training designed to increase clinicians’ capabilities and comfort in responding to medical misinformation in ways that reaffirm patient dignity and strengthen patient-provider relationships. 


Brian Southwell, Duke Program on Medical Misinformation Co-Director
Brian Southwell, Duke Program on Medical Misinformation Co-Director.
                                               Photo credit: Adam Jennings, RTI International

About the Program

In today’s highly interconnected world, it’s easy to find medical information. Countless websites, magazines, news outlets, and social media feeds offer information and advice on all sorts of health topics. Some is helpful, some can be harmful.

Doctors, nurses and other health care providers help patients navigate this maze of information to make informed, safe decisions. Yet most medical professionals were never taught how to respond to patients who hold beliefs about their health that may be incorrect and even dangerous.

The Duke Program on Medical Misinformation offers education and training designed to increase clinicians’ capabilities and comfort in responding to medical misinformation in ways that reaffirm patient dignity and strengthen patient-provider relationships. During 90-minute, CE-approved, Zoom workshops clinicians:

  • Review the psychological and emotional reasons humans seek out and share misinformation

  • Learn how to respond to falsehoods in ways that build stronger relationships of trust

  • Practice new communication techniques during hypothetical patient/provider scenarios

Combatting misinformation goes beyond fact-checking patients or increasing the number of accurate online resources. It's really about listening to and connecting with individuals.

“Encountering patient-held misinformation offers an opportunity for clinicians to learn about patient values, preferences, comprehension, and information diets,” writes Brian Southwell and Jamie L. Wood, program co-directors in a piece in the American Journal of Public Health, which was also cited by the U.S. Surgeon General. “Systematically training health care professionals to address patient-held misinformation with empathy and curiosity, acknowledging time and resource constraints, will be a crucial contribution toward future mitigation of medical misinformation.”


Contact us

Please send questions or comments to mmworkshop@duke.edu