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Communication, Clarity, & Medical Errors | Episode 55

by Kevin Patton

Communication, Clarity, & Medical Errors

TAPP Radio Episode 55

Quick Take

Host Kevin Patton discusses the importance of teaching proper communication in the anatomy & physiology course. Topics include handling spelling errors, alternate spellings, proper use of type case, and addressing professionalism goals in the syllabus.

00:47 | Is Spelling Important?
10:06 | Sponsored by HAPS
10:33 | Alternate Spellings
14:12 | Sponsored by AAA
14:31 | A Case for Proper Case
26:16 | Sponsored by HAPI Online Graduate Program
27:05 | Professionalism as a Course Goal
30:05 | Staying Connected

Listen Now!

Get the full experience—first, listen to this episode’s Preview (with additional content).

Second, listen to the regular episode after listening to the Preview (above)

When our spelling is perfect, it’s invisible. But when it’s flawed, it prompts strong negative associations. (Marilyn vos Savant)


Is Spelling Important?

9.5 minutescarbaminohemoglobin

I’ve done a complete turnaround in my teaching over the years —I used to be lenient about correct spelling, but now I’m a stickler for exactly correct spelling. In this segment I discuss my reasons.


Sponsored by HAPS

0.5 minute

HAPS logoThe Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) is a sponsor of this podcast.  You can help appreciate their support by clicking the link below and checking out the many resources and benefits found there. There are a bunch of 1-day regional workshops scattered all over the continent. There’s probably one near you coming up this year (or next)!

Anatomy & Physiology Society



Alternate Spellings

3.5 minutes


Some terms can be correctly spelled more than one way. There is also an issue of differences in spelling from one dialect of English to another (e.g., U.K. English compared to U.S. English). If we are to expect our students to use correct spelling, we have to keep up with acceptable variations.


Sponsored by AAA

0.5 minutes

AAA logo

A searchable transcript for this episode, as well as the captioned audiogram of this episode, are sponsored by the American Association for Anatomy (AAA) at anatomy.org.

Searchable transcript

Captioned audiogram 


A Case for Proper Case

11.5 minutesLetter case

When we properly capitalize terms, it demonstrates our professionalism, serves as a teaching model for students, improves clarity, and potentially reduces medical errors. A capital idea!

  • Font Case (brief summary of different font cases: sentence case, title case, all caps, etc.) my-ap.us/2pWCSsM
  • Italic Text Generator (generates italic type for use in texts, tweets, etc.) my-ap.us/italic
  • Title Case (generates proper title case for different standard styles; gives rules for title case) my-ap.us/TitleCase


Sponsored by HAPI Online Graduate Program

1 minute

NYCC Human Anatomy and Physiology InstructionThe Master of Science in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction—the MS-HAPI—is a graduate program for A&P teachers. A combination of science courses (enough to qualify you to teach at the college level) and courses in contemporary instructional practice, this program helps you power up  your teaching. Kevin Patton is a faculty member in this program. Check it out!



Professionalism as a Course Goal

3 minutesclass

Sometimes a student frets about the A&P course being “not a spelling course” or “not an English course” — but professional communication is an essential skill for health professionals. Why not add this statement to our syllabus and/or other course documents?

Need help accessing resources locked behind a paywall?
Check out this advice from Episode 32 to get what you need!

(If no link or player are visible, go to https://youtu.be/JU_l76JGwVw?t=440)

This podcast is sponsored by the
Human Anatomy & Physiology Society
HAPS logo

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To read a complete transcript of this episode,
click here.

Transcripts & captions supported by
The American Association for Anatomy. 
AAA logo

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Last updated: February 5, 2021 at 16:43 pm

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