In the second semester of the third year, a course on "Breaking Bad News" is taught in 3 concentrated study days. Bad News is defined as information which is undesirable to the patient and causes a significant change in his/her life. Bad news is part of various conditions such as a handicap or developmental disability in children, chronic illness or disability, terminal illness or death.
The course relates to breaking bad news from the viwe point of the receiver as well as from that of the deliverer. Students learn the SPIKES protocol, meet with physicians who deliver bad news as part of their work, as well as with patients who had received bad news and tell the students about their experience.
In addition to lectures, a significant part of the course is held in small groups. Each group is led by two facilitators, one of whom is a physician and the other is a social worker, who collaborate on a regular basis as part of their clinical role. The teams that teach this course come from various specialties, including intensive care of adults and of children, emergency medicine, gynecology, oncology, hematology and premature births.
The last meeting of the course is devoted to end of life care. Students learn about spiritual support through an experiential workshop. The course ends with a lecture demonstrating breaking bad news in movies, where the film scenes are analyzed according to the SPIKES model.