Mastering Difficult Family Conversations in Surgical Care

“MnSERC - Mastering the Art of Difficult Family Conversations in Surgical Critical Care” is an online self-directed tutorial on end-of-life and error disclosure communications. 

This is a research-based curriculum covering 10 modules that were developed by faculty in general and orthopedic surgery departments here, at the University of Minnesota, and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Each module has a 10-minute narrated presentation that provides unscripted video examples of how to lead these conversations. The modules also have key articles, “cue cards,” and other handouts.

The curriculum is free. It can be used for independent learning by students, residents, fellows, or staff. It may also be used by faculty for instructional purposes, e.g. as part of a presentation, or in conjunction with group teaching sessions. Program directors may also require it for individuals who struggle with interpersonal communication skills.

To enroll other users, contact JJ Glover ( For more information on the curriculum, contact Dr. Jeff Chipman ( or Dr. Connie Schmitz (