Brian Zikmund-Fisher

Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, PhD., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan (UM) School of Public Health, a Research Associate Professor in the UM Department of Internal Medicine, a member of the UM Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI), and part of the leadership team for the UM Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine. He earned his Ph.D. in Behavioral Decision Theory (a combination of decision psychology and behavioral economics) from Carnegie Mellon University and uses this interdisciplinary background to study factors that affect people’s ability to use data to make better and more informed health and medical decisions congruent with their values. Brian developed and teaches graduate courses in health risk communication, designing health messages to be memorable (“sticky”), and communication fundamentals. His research and teaching overlap considerably in that his research examines design of visual displays that make health information more intuitively meaningful to the public, the effects of poor numeracy on the public’s use of health data, and the power of narratives in communications. For example, he led the development of, a free online generator of icon array risk graphics. Topical interests have included include laboratory test results, medication decisions, vaccination, genetic testing, dioxin exposure, and cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship.

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Foundational Skills for Communicating About Health (Coursera)

Effective communication is a core skill that nearly every health professional will need and use during their careers. Yet, few health professionals receive even basic training in how to design communications to be clear and successful. As “foundational skills,” the content in this course can be applied to both [...]