Making Medical Decisions Easier and Cultural Barriers - Two-Part Session

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 10 am - Noon EST

Session Information

Part 1: Making Medical Decisions Easier for Patients and Caregivers

Millions of older adults and their caregivers will face complex medical decisions over the course of advanced illness, yet most are unprepared. Lack of preparation can lead to uninformed choices, receipt of care inconsistent with personal goals, and lack of patient empowerment during clinical encounters, especially for individuals with limited health literacy. Conventional preparation, called advance care planning (ACP), has typically focused on having patients pre-specify preferences for life prolonging procedures, such as mechanical ventilation and to document these choices in an advance directive or similar legal form or code status. Yet, these legal forms and ACP information can be hard to understand and are often not completed, especially by culturally diverse populations.    

This session will provide an overview of practical advice for clear communication principles concerning ACP and the creation of ACP tools for culturally diverse older adults with limited health literacy and cognitive impairment. This session will also discuss the evidence-based PREPARE For Your Care ACP program and tools that can be used in the clinical and community environment to promote ACP engagement. 


  • Attendees will be able to understand how health literacy may affect advance care planning and medical decisions.  
  • Attendees will be able to understand clear health communication principles in creating advance care planning tools.  
  • Attendees will learn about the development and evidence for the advance care planning PREPARE for Your Care program and tool.  
  • Attendees will learn how to use the PREPARE for Your Care program in clinical practice. 

Part 2: Cultural/Linguistic Barriers and Working with Interpreters

When patients face serious illness, clear, bidirectional communication with health and social service professionals is critical to navigating medical choices and providing patient-centered care; however, this communication is more complex when the patient and health care professional face cultural and/or linguistic barriers.  In this session, we will outline some of these common challenges, and will provide practical suggestions for individual patient and systems-level improvements.


  • Attendees will be able to discuss common challenges that health and social service professionals face when caring for seriously ill patients from different cultural backgrounds, and/or when there is language discordance.
  • Attendees will be able to summarize key challenges to effectively integrating interpreters in serious illness communication scenarios
  • Attendees will be able to identify 3 practical solutions to address cultural and/or linguistic barriers between health/social service professionals and patients/families.


Rebecca Sudore, MD

Professor of Medicine

University of California, San Francisco

Anne Kinderman, MD

Director, Supportive & Palliative Care Service

Zuckerberg San Francisco General/UCSF 


Register for Session

*You only need to register once for both sessions

Speaker Bios

Social Work CEU Information

This session carries 2.00 credits. You must attend both parts.

The University of Rochester Medical Center, Center for Experiential Learning is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0005.