Prognosis: Talking in Code

June 26, 2019 by celia

Prognosis is not a term familiar to most people unless used by a doctor to explain the expected course of a medical condition. Even then, the word or its implications may not be understood. (more…)

CCM to offer program at Vermont Center for Independent Living

by celia

“How to Improve Communication with Doctors”

On Wednesday, July 10, Center for Communication in Medicine (CCM) founders, Dr. Bernard Bandman and Celia Engel Bandman, will be presenting a program, “How to Improve Communication with Doctors”,  sponsored by the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL). The event is free and open to the public.

Here in Vermont and across the nation the need for open and honest doctor-patient communication has never been more urgent. Most of us prefer not to think or talk about serious illness. Yet, we or someone we love will be a patient someday and find ourselves unprepared to communicate with doctors. In today’s healthcare climate, doctors and nurses are facing increased demands and pressures, which often means less time at office visits. And, when conversations about treatment options and preferences for care are postponed or avoided, the resulting silence can have consequences that include unnecessary physical and emotional suffering and regrets about decisions.

The presenters will introduce the Difficult Conversations Toolkit, a guide developed by CCM to help patients and families identify and communicate questions and concerns about risks and benefits of treatment options, quality of life considerations and supportive care needs – beginning sooner in the course of illness.

SpeakSooner programs help improve communication between patients, families and healthcare providers. An attendee at a recent program said, “CCM offers the community a priceless gift. There is an overwhelming need and thirst for your expertise.” Visit to access the Difficult Conversations Toolkit, read Celia’s blog “A Medical Humanist’s Notes” and sign up for CCM news updates.

Registration is required to ensure enough materials and seating. This is a scent and chemical free event. If you would like an ASL interpreter, please let the organizers know by July 5.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 108 School Street, in Bennington, VT from 1 – 2:30 pm.

To register, for more information, or to request accommodations, contact Lynn Mazza, Vermont Center for Independent Living, 802-442-1876, or Charlie Murphy, 802-445-3015,


June 19, 2019 by celia



The Center for Communication in Medicine (CCM), a Bennington, VT based nonprofit, will offer a workshop, “How to Improve Doctor-Patient Communication” on Monday, July 22, 6PM at HAYC3 in Hoosick Falls, NY.

After the success of CCM’s SpeakSooner® Community Education Program, ”When The Doctor Becomes A Patient” at the Hoosick Falls Central School in April, many attendees requested a follow-up workshop on the use of the Difficult Conversations Toolkit, a guide to help facilitate communication between patients, family caregivers and healthcare providers.

The “How to Improve Doctor-Patient Communication” workshop will offer the opportunity to view videos of actual patients speaking about the challenges in navigating the healthcare system, followed by a discussion aimed at helping participants become more effective in communicating their questions and concerns to healthcare providers who are facing increased demands on their time.

There is no cost for the workshop and participants will receive a personal copy of the Difficult Conversations Toolkit.

HAYC3 is located at 80 Church St, Hoosick Falls, NY 12090.

Space is limited. Please click here or call CCM at 802-442-5800 to register.