The Duke Program on Medical Misinformation
Guiding Principles for Partnering with Patients

It is easy to find medical information. Countless websites, magazines, news outlets, and social media accounts offer guidance and advice on all sorts of health topics. Not every source of information we encounter, though, is accurate.

The Duke Program on Medical Misinformation aims to help providers and patients work together to identify inaccurate sources of information and build a new understanding on the foundation of evidence-based and credible sources.

In an American Journal of Public Health piece, cited by the U.S. Surgeon General, the program co-directors write:

“Encountering patient-held misinformation offers an opportunity for clinicians to learn about patient values, preferences, comprehension, and information diets. Systematically training health care professionals to address patient-held misinformation with empathy and curiosity, acknowledging time and resource constraints, will be a crucial contribution toward future mitigation of medical misinformation.”

The program aims to build the patient-provider relationship in a way that encourages psychologically safe conversations about all types of medical information, regardless of accuracy. Through supportive interpersonal dialogue, providers and patients can work together to avoid the pitfalls of misinformation.


Brian Southwell, PhD
Senior Director, Science in the Public Sphere Program, RTI International
Adjunct Professor (Internal Medicine), Duke University School of Medicine

Jamie L. Wood, PhD
Assistant Professor of the Practice of Medical Education
Duke University School of Medicine

 Meet our Advisory Board.

Register for “Initiating the Conversation on Medical Myths and Misinformation”