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There is growing evidence that patient and clinician satisfaction is becoming increasingly compromised in our health care system due to an ineffective patient provider relationship1. Patients have become dissatisfied with the care they receive, and physicians feel burdened and distressed. Ultimately, this unfulfilled need reduces quality of care and leads to mutual dissatisfaction between patient and provider. This is particularly relevant for patients with Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction (DGBI) formerly called functional GI disorders2, where medical evaluations for structural diagnoses are negative and psychological stigma may be imposed3. Adding to this, in current times and with this group of patients, clinicians often feel pressured to focus their time on “sicker” patients, or to prioritize RVUs toward procedures rather than provide face to face care4.

The Rome Foundation is looking to find ways to resolve this problem.  The Foundation’s global network of education to clinicians about these disorders, and its marketing capability and personnel resources have established a partnership with the Center for Education and Practice of Biopsychosocial Care (DrossmanCare who have for years created educational programs in communication skills training.  We are now establishing a program to facilitate learning of these communication skills1 and optimizing patient centered care5.

This collaboration is intended to benefit health care providers treating patients with DGBI’s in a fashion that is unprecedented: a curriculum to teach more effective communication skills that would be disseminated to clinicians and trainees.  This curriculum uses written, visual and interactive methods to teach the process of patient centered care and effective communication skills even in the most challenging clinical interactions.  Many of these educational materials have already been used at national and international fora over the years, however this collaboration will lead to more extensive dissemination of these educational tools.

Aim. To create a collaborative, multimodal educational program to teach communication skills, patient centered care, psychosocial assessment, and shared decision making to optimize the patient-provider relationship among patients with disorders of gut-brain interaction.

Objectives. We propose to develop a curriculum to teach several sectors of health care: gastroenterologists in academic practice and community care, fellows in training, clinicians in primary care, medical students and mid-level providers.

As you will see the Foundation has made a major effort to develop this curriculum. Some has already been done, some are planned.  We do hope you would consider supporting such an effort and we are interested in submitting educational grants to your programs to accomplish this.  If you are interested, please contact Johannah Ruddy M.Ed. at


  1. Drossman DA. 2012 David Sun Lecture: Helping your patient by helping yourself: How to improve the patient-physician relationship by optimizing communication skills. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2013(108):521-528.
  2. Drossman DA. Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: History, Pathophysiology, Clinical Features and Rome IV. Gastroenterology. 2016;148(6):1262-1279.
  3. Drossman DA. Functional GI Disorders: What’s in a Name? Gastroenterology. 2005;128(7):1771-1772.
  4. Drossman DA. Medicine has become a business. But what is the cost? Gastroenterology. 2004;126(4):952-953.
  5. Medicine Io. Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Vol 1. 1 ed: National Academy of Sciences; 2001.
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