Eye doctors regularly convey serious illness news to their patients. There is an evolving understanding of how medical educators can effectively teach this vital communication skill during real-time patient care. This article proposes teaching strategies to improve clinical optometric education related to serious illness conversations.
Effectively conveying serious illness news is an essential skill in optometry practice. Established protocols can help optometrists navigate these nuanced, emotional, and complex conversations with patients, yet protocols for teaching this skill in eye care settings have not been described. Clinical educators need discrete strategies for making such pivotal communication skills learnable in an environment where patient care, teaching priorities, and limited resources are regularly juggled. Despite the importance of this competency, limited study has focused on teaching optometry learners to deliver serious eye news. In this article, we explore the importance of optometry talk, serious news delivery tools, and considerations for optometric educators teaching serious news delivery. We then adapt specific strategies from medical education to help optometry educators teach serious news delivery in clinical settings.