Program on Translational Ethics of Applied Health and Medical Communication (TEAMc)

The TEAMc program is geared to promote effective, evidence-based communication among physicians, nurses, health care teams, patients, and patients’ families in health and medical arenas.  This program focuses on improving face-to-face communication to enhance health outcomes and ethical choices.


Because effective communication is integral to the practice of medical ethics, the goal of the work accomplished in this program is to improve communication skills, advance the understanding of communicative interactions within the medical sphere, and to help the medical personal better serve the patients in their care. Along with the focus on communicating with patients, TEAMc also concentrates efforts on provider-provider communication through team building and provider-family interactions to enhance health outcomes.


  • To conduct translational research on health, interpersonal, and family communication issues relevant to clinical practices.
  • To translate research outcomes to address communicative needs identified in clinical practices into training, interventions, lectures, and new approaches to medical interactions.
  • To facilitate the development and execution of funded projects in health and medical communication.
  • To provide consultation to practicing providers on communication issues arising out of practice.
  • To establish interdisciplinary relationships across the university, local community, within the US, and internationally that focus on research and practice.

Program Steps

This program depends on a three step process:

  • First, through clinical information identified out of ethics consultations the program focuses on locating, discovering, and uncovering areas where there is problematic communication.
  • Second, the program targets the problematic communication discovered in practice and develops research to better understand the dynamics involved.
  • Third, out of the research, the program is geared to formulate education interventions, training, and continuing educational curriculum.

Program Emphases

  • Medical Teams Communication and Moral Compass:
    • Communication research on and training in inter-collegial interaction and conflict negotiations.
    • The role of communicating about professional issues among medical co-workers.
  • Communication Issues in Ethics Consultations:
    • Communicative dimensions of ethics consultations
  • Family Communication Dynamics and Ethical Considerations:
    • Navigating communication patterns and family dynamics in health crisis
    • Family decision-making
    • Understanding the family's role in communication of diagnosis and prognosis
    • Family privacy
    • Provider interactions with families
    • Family communication with patient
  • Ethical Issues of Disclosure in Medicine:
    • Understanding disclosure of diagnosis and prognosis.
    • Dynamics of disclosing medical mistakes.

Program Collaborations

Developing collaborations with the Department of Communication on the campus of IUPUI.