David Browning, MSW, LICSW

David M. Browning, MSW, LICSW

Co-founder of IPEP,Senior Scholar Emeritus

As a co-founder of the Institute, David Browning has been centrally involved with articulating the educational philosophy and theory base for IPEP’s approach to learning and with bringing a “learning across boundaries” perspective to all of the Institute’s work.

David’s work as a medical educator has focused on promoting collaborative learning to bring about enhanced professionalism, improved clinical practice, and organizational change. His current work is focused on the everyday ethics of healthcare relationships and the integration of patient and family expertise in healthcare professional learning. He serves on the Ethics Advisory Committee at Boston Children’s Hospital and was a recipient, along with the rest of the IPEP leadership team, of the BCH Academy’s 2010 Medical Educator Award for Innovative Scholarship in Medical Education. Previously, David was a Senior Research Scientist at Education Development Center, Inc., where he directed the Initiative for Pediatric Palliative Care, a nationally acclaimed, interdisciplinary educational program for clinicians serving children with life-threatening conditions and their families.

David received his MSW from Smith College, is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, and is a recipient of the Social Work Leadership Development Award from the Open Society Institute. In 2012, he completed the year-long Fellowship in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School. David co-teaches the Advanced Clinical Proseminar in the palliative care certificate program at Smith College School for Social Work. He is co-author of Talking with Patients and Families about Medical Error: A Guide for Education and Practice, published in December 2010.


Mishra A, Browning D, Haviland M, Jackson ML, Luff D, Meyer EC, Talcott K, Kloek C. Communication  skills training in ophthalmology: Results of a needs assessment and pilot training program. J Surg Educ. 2018 Mar – Apr;75(2):417-426. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.08.011. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Langer T, Martinez W, Browning DM, Varrin P, Sarnoff Lee B, Bell SK. Patients and families as teachers: a mixed methods assessment of a collaborative learning model for medical error disclosure and preventionBMJ Quality & Safety, 2016 Aug;25(8):615-25.

Truog RD, Brown SD, Browning D, Hundert EM, Rider EA, Bell SK, Meyer EC. Microethics: The Ethics of Everyday Clinical PracticeHastings Center Report 2015 Jan;45(1):1-7.

Brown, SD, Callahan M, Browning DM, Lebowitz R, Bell SK, Jang J, Meyer EC. Radiology trainees’ comfort with difficult conversations and attitudes about error disclosure: Effect of a communication skills workshopThe Journal of the American College of Radiology 2014; 11(8):781-7.

Brown SD, Lehman CD, Truog RD, Browning DM, Gallagher TH. Stepping out further from the shadows: Disclosure of harmful radiologic errors to patientsRadiology 2012; 262:381-386.

Lamiani G, Barello S, Browning DM, Vegni E, Meyer EC. Uncovering and validating clinicians’ experiential knowledge when facing difficult conversations: A cross-cultural perspectivePatient Education and Counseling 2012; 87:307-312.

Browning, DM (2012). Sturdy for common things: Cultivating moral sensemaking on the front lines of practice.  Journal of Medical Ethics. 38(4).

Truog RD, Christ GH, Browning DM, Meyer EC. Sudden Traumatic Death in Children: We Did Everything, But Your Child Didn’t Survive. In: SJ McPhee, MA Winker, MW Rabow, SZ Pantilat & AJ Markowitz, editors. Care at the Close of Life: JAMAevidence. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc, 2011; 271-283.

Lamiani G, Meyer EC, Leone D, Vegni E, Browning DM, Rider EA, Truog RD, Moja EA. Cross-cultural adaptation of an innovative approach to learning about difficult conversations in healthcareMedical Teacher 2011; 33(2):e57-e64.

Browning DM, Comeau M, Kishimoto S, Varrin P, Ward E, Rider EA, Meyer EC. Parents and interprofessional learning in pediatrics: Integrating personhood and practiceJournal of Interprofessional Care 2010; Early Online, 1–2.

Browning DM, Comeau M, Kishimoto S, Varrin P, Ward E, Rider EA, Meyer EC. Parents as practitioners in pediatrics. Medical Teacher 2010; 32(7).

Meyer EC, Brodsky D, Hansen AR, Lamiani G, Sellers DE, Browning DM. An interdisciplinary, family-focused approach to relational learning in neonatal intensive careJournal of Perinatology 2010; 1-8.

Truog RD, Browning DM, Johnson JA, Gallagher TH. Talking with patients and families about medical error: A guide for education and practice. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press (2010).

Lamiani G, Meyer EC, Browning DB, Brodsky D, Todres ID. Analysis of enacted difficult conversations in neonatal intensive careJournal of Perinatology 2009; 4:310-316.

Lamiani G, Meyer EC, Browning DM, Moja EA. Tra scienza e sofferenza: Le conversazioni difficili in sanitaRecenti Progressi in Medicina 2009; 100(5):239-246.

Meyer EC, Sellers DE, Browning DM, McGuffie K, Solomon MZ, Truog RD. Difficult conversations: Improving communication skills and relational abilities in health carePediatric Critical Care Medicine 2009; 10(3):352-359.

Lamiani G, Meyer EC, Rider EA, Browning DM, Vegni E, Moja EA, Truog RD.Assumptions, blind spots and paradoxes in patient-centered care: An action research experience between American and Italian Health Care ProfessionalsMedical Education 2008; 42:712-720.

Browning DM, Meyer EC, Brodsky D, Truog RD. Reflections on love, fear, and specializing in the impossible. Journal of Clinical Ethics 2007; 18(4):373-6.

Browning DM, Meyer EC, Truog RD, Solomon MZ. Difficult conversations in health care: Cultivating relational learning to address the hidden curriculumAcademic Medicine 2007; 82(9):905-913.

Truog RD, Christ G, Browning DM, Meyer EC. Sudden traumatic death in children: “We did everything, but your child didn’t survive”JAMA 2006; 295(22):2646-2654.