Enhancing medical education on prenatal diagnosis through student-patient interaction.

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The Problem

A 2008 survey of ACOG fellows and junior fellows found that only 36% felt "well qualified" in counseling an expectant mother whose prenatal screen suggests a high chance for Down syndrome.

Driscoll DA, Morgan MA, Schulkin J. Screening for Down syndrome: changing practice of obstetricians. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2009

The Solution

Physician communication training informed by real patient experiences.

The Center for Humane Diagnosis is a coalition of parents, disability advocates, and medical professionals equipping the next generation of healthcare professionals to present a prenatal diagnosis of disability with accuracy, sensitivity, and hope. The Center partners with healthcare education programs to enhance existing Bioethics and Medical Humanities curricula on prenatal disability diagnoses by offering students insight from the patient’s perspective.

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Learn from real patient experiences.

Healthcare professionals have the very difficult challenge of presenting a prenatal diagnosis. Yet many never receive sufficient training on how to deliver this news with accuracy, sensitivity, and hope. Learning from the first-hand experiences of patients can effectively inform training for the next generation of healthcare professionals.

For the last three years, CHDx has documented and raised national awareness of the patient experience for those who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and other conditions recognizable in utero.

For educators

Elective webinars & in‑person presentations, featuring patient interviews.

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The Center for Humane Diagnosis partners with healthcare education programs in the United States to offer elective training webinars and in-person presentations on delivering prenatal disability diagnoses from the patient’s perspective. Presentations involve interviews with patients who are now parents of children with Down syndrome or other conditions frequently diagnosed in utero, a brief overview of patient experiences and guiding principles concerning prenatal disability diagnoses in the U.S., and an opportunity for direct Q & A with the patients. Medical education programs may also partner with the Center for Humane Diagnosis to inform Medical Humanities curriculum.

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For students

Student experiences & club involvement.


Medical education programs and campus student clubs may coordinate with the Center for Humane Diagnosis to organize opportunities for students to interact directly with individuals living with Down syndrome and other genetic conditions. The Center for Humane Diagnosis also offers research and advocacy internships, equipping students to advocate for disability-friendly policies and for sensitive, accurate presentations of disability diagnoses in the medical community.


Contact Info

Physical address

1 N 1st St, Suite 600, Phoenix, AZ 85004