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Birgit Hladschik-Kermer named Teacher of The Year (Senior) at Vetmeduni Vienna

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(Vienna, 24 November 2016) Birgit Hladschik-Kermer from MedUni Vienna's Institute of Medical Psychology was awarded the title of Teacher of The Year (Senior) at the Teaching Vets Symposium at Vetmeduni Vienna. The MedUni Vienna psychologist and lecturer at Vetmeduni Vienna was awarded the title for designing and implementing the communications curriculum "Dialogue with the animal owner" at VetmedUni Vienna.

Birgit Hladschik-Kermer was awarded the title of Teacher of the Year (Senior) jointly with Michael Leschnik.

At the invitation of Vetmeduni Vienna's Vice Rector for Education and Clinics, Birgit Hladschik-Kermer (Center for Public Health of MedUni Vienna, Institute of Medical Psychology) and Michael Leschnik (Vetmeduni Vienna) jointly devised and implemented the communications curriculum "Dialogue with the animal owner" at the University of Veterinary Medicine in the winter semester 2014/15.

The curriculum focuses on developing communication skills. Working in small groups, students are able to practice and reflect on the communication skills required for taking a medical history, delivering a diagnosis and even for addressing very sensitive topics such as euthanasia. In role-play with their peers (in the third semester) and with specially trained actors, who take the part of the animal owner (in the sixth semester), the students take the role of the vet. Learning objectives and assignments were developed for each teaching unit in collaboration with representatives from all clinical disciplines. Apart from the opportunity to practice, an important didactic element is the feedback that students receive from their student colleagues and from the actors and teachers after their performance. The skills that have been acquired are then transferred into practice, under supervision, in the real clinical environment from the eighth to the tenth semester.

About Birgit Hladschik-Kermer
Birgit Hladschik-Kermer works as a clinical and health psychologist, psychotherapist and medical psychologist at the Medical University of Vienna (Center for Public Health, Institute of Medical Psychology). She gained a "Master of Medical Education" degree at the University of Heidelberg (with a distinction for the best master's thesis of the 2014 cohort). Since then, she has also worked there as a lecturer on the Master's course. She is a lecturer at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, instructor on the palliative course for doctors run by the Austrian Society for Palliative Medicine and lecturer on the Master's course "Gender Medicine" at MedUni Vienna.