ICRE 2023 pre-conference course highlights patient advocacy and compassionate care

July 10, 2023 | Author: Royal College Staff

Every year, the International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE) offers a series of focused, in-depth pre-conference courses. These courses give participants a unique opportunity to explore particular medical education topics through half-day or full-day sessions. The extra time allows for more critical exploration of topics and stronger skill-building in each area of study.  

At ICRE 2023, the pre-conference course “Advocating for a better patient experience: Integrating compassionate care into our training programs” will explore how advocacy can be used to improve patient care in the face of ongoing issues for healthcare providers worldwide, such as staff shortages and time pressures. 

Speaker Nisreen Maghraby, MBBS, FRCPC(EM), MM, MA, agreed to give us a sneak peek of this pre-conference course, which takes place on Wednesday, October 18: 


Royal College: Why is it so important to talk about patient experience from an advocacy perspective?  

Nisreen Maghraby: Patient advocacy is crucial because it places the patient’s experience at the forefront of healthcare delivery. When we consider empathy, respect, communication, competence, and collaboration—the key components of compassionate care—we see that they are all centered around the patient’s perspective. Advocacy ensures that these elements are not just theoretical concepts but are actively incorporated into patient care. It empowers patients, respects their autonomy and ensures their needs and experiences are heard, understood and addressed effectively.  

RC: What are some of the main obstacles to improving patient experiences that healthcare providers face?  

NM: There are several obstacles at play. Empathy is crucial to providing patient care, but healthcare providers may struggle with emotional fatigue, which can impact their ability to empathize with patients.  

There may also be unconscious biases or cultural misunderstandings that can hinder the ability to fully respect all patients’ experiences and backgrounds.  

Time constraints, language barriers, or lack of effective communication training can impede clear and empathetic communication. What’s more, keeping up to date with the latest medical knowledge and technologies can be challenging due to the rapid pace of advancements in the medical field.  

Finally, there can be challenges in interdisciplinary collaboration due to differences in schedules, communication styles, or understanding of roles. 

RC: Practicing compassionate care is key to meeting patient needs. How would you define compassionate care?  

NM: I like to refer back to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s definition: “Compassion involves having empathy or real concern for patients coupled with a desire to take action to address the patient’s need. 

RC: What are some of the most important learnings you hope participants will take from this session? 

NM: By the end of this session, participants will understand the importance of each component of compassionate care and how it contributes to improving patient experiences. We will also be equipping them with practical strategies for enhancing their empathy, respect, communication skills, competence and collaboration. Participants will also understand how these components interrelate and how they can be applied in their daily practice to provide more compassionate, patient-centered care that involves both themselves and their colleagues. 

Register for this pre-conference course.