Course Summary

Many adults have limited health literacy which can lead to poor health outcomes. Most physical assessments can be lengthy and involve verbal and written health screening tools and communication. Health clinicians will also frequently hand out written patient education material, yet it is estimated that the average adult in the United States has a basic grade school level of reading. A discrepancy exists between how the average health clinician communicates information to patients and what most patients are able to understand. Often health literacy is associated with a language or cultural barrier, and low health literacy occurs simply due to a lack of understanding, issues of anxiety, or pre-existing risk factors related to age and chronic comorbidities. National health organizations leading public health policy are developing clinical education and improved standards of patient care that promote more effective ways to communicate health information to patients across the literacy spectrum.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Health Literacy and Managing Disease
    • Health Literacy Skills
  • Patient Communication
  • Impact of Health Literacy and National Goals
    • Impact of Health Literacy
  • Health Literacy Research
    • Detecting Low Health Literacy
    • Improving Health Communication
  • Professional Practice Skills
    • Literacy Assessment
  • Case Study: An Ecological Momentary Assessment
  • Summary


Noah H. Carpenter, MD

Dr. Noah Carpenter is a Thoracic and Peripheral Vascular Surgeon. He completed his Bachelor of Science in chemistry and medical school and training at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Carpenter completed surgical residency and fellowship at the University of Edmonton and Affiliated Hospitals in Edmonton, Alberta, and an additional Adult Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He has specialized in microsurgical techniques, vascular endoscopy, laser and laparoscopic surgery in Brandon, Manitoba and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and in Colorado, Texas, and California. Dr. Carpenter has an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of Calgary, and was appointed a Citizen Ambassador to China, and has served as a member of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada, the Canadian College of Health Service Executives, the Science Institute of the Northwest Territories, Canada Science Council, and the International Society of Endovascular Surgeons, among others. He has been an inspiration to youth, motivating them to understand the importance of achieving higher education.

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