Important Conversations: Serious Illness Communication

Welcome to the second chapter in the course "Team Based Palliative Care Essentials for Parkinson's Disease". This chapter describes communication skills that are essential to navigating serious illness conversations.

After completing this course, participants will understand the risks of poor communication and the benefits of skillful communication, identify patient-centered triggers for having serious illness conversations, learn the three Steps of MVP to organize serious illness conversations, and learn the three skills to support the MVP steps for serious illness conversations.

After completing this course, feel free to take a break and come back later, or move to the next chapter. 





Meet your Presenter: Tom Carroll

Introduction to Important Conversations

Good and Bad Communication

Demonstration and Practice

Key Takeaways

Chapter Two Quiz



Course summary
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imageThomas Carroll, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine University of Rochester 

Dr. Thomas Carroll is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and then completed his internal medicine training at the University of Rochester where he subsequently served as Chief Resident and completed the fellowship program in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Carroll practices both general internal medicine and palliative care in the office and hospital settings. He also directs the Advanced Communication Training (ACT) Program (, which seeks to improve patient care by supporting communication excellence among individual clinicians and clinical teams. His interests include communication training, medical education at all stages of training, bioethics, and moral theology.


Parkinson’s Foundation adheres to the ACCME’s Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity, including faculty, planners, reviewers, or others are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (commercial interests). All relevant conflicts of interest have been mitigated prior to the commencement of the activity.

Please login or register to take this course.

Welcome to the second course in your Team-Based Palliative Care journey. This is course two of ten. You can either register for this individual chapter, or for the entire Team-based Palliative Care Essentials course.

Once you register, you can enter this chapter, download the course materials, watch the educational videos, complete the quiz, and move to the next chapter.