Graduate Medical Education

Clinical Communications

Clinical Communications

St. Luke’s University Health Network is in the unique and very fortunate position to have personnel dedicated to Clinical Communication and Faculty Development. Nicole Defenbaugh,PhD is a Clinical Communication Specialist (CCS) and Medical Educator and works within the Network to provide graduate medical education in the areas of professional, interpersonal communication skills, and diversity to residents, fellows, and faculty. Before joining SLUHN, she was the Director of Education for the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Advance Care Planning for the Department of Community Health at Lehigh Valley Health Network. She is also a professor for Temple University – Lewis Katz School of Medicine. Dr. Defenbaugh is also a qualitative researcher. Her areas of study include chronic illness identity, narrative medicine, and autoethnography with an emphasis on patient-clinician relationships. In 2017, Dr. Defenbaugh co-authored the first autoethnographic article published as original research in the Annals of Family Medicine and has a single-authored book entitled, Dirty Tale: A Narrative Journey of the IBD Body. Dr. Defenbaugh has over 25 publications in both academic and medical journals and has been recognized with over a dozen teaching, service, and research awards including the Norman K. Denzin Qualitative Research Award and Ellis-Bochner Autoethnography & Personal Narrative Research Award. She has published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, Qualitative Inquiry, Health Communication, and the International Review of Qualitative Research, to name a few. Dr. Defenbaugh has an upcoming book chapter in the International Handbook of Organizational Autoethnography. Outside of work she plays her harp for the NICU, is an avid ballroom dancer, and volunteers with her certified therapy dog, Lucy.

Nicole Defenbaugh, PhD
Nicole Defenbaugh, PhD

“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity…we listen for what’s behind the words.”

– Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart