FAQ Aspen Faculty Development Course

1. Who is this course intended for?

The Aspen faculty development course is intended for physicians and/or advance practice providers (including Nurse Practitioners) who have clinical experience with palliative care and who are committed to becoming communication educators.

2. What is the structure of the course?

The faculty development program involves a 2 day face-to-face workshop, distance learning, and a second 2 day face-to-face workshop (spaced approximately 6 months apart). The curriculum is geared around our proven teaching methodology, incorporating small group work, learner goal setting, simulated patients and participant feedback. You need to commit to the entire program (both sessions) to attend. 

3. What pre-requisites are needed to attend?

We have found that faculty who have experienced VitalTalk learning methods have a much easier time acquiring key teaching skills. The FD course is concentrated and moves quickly, and faculty who are completely new to our work have generally felt that they would have done better to have been a learner in a f2f VitalTalk skills course first (eg Oncotalk, Pallitalk, IntensiveTalk, Vitaltalk Mastering Tough Conversations, AAHPM-Vitaltalk 1-day pre-conference course, American Cancer Society-Vitaltalk course, Hospice of Cincinnati Conversations of a Lifetime-Vitaltalk, Oregon Health Leadership-Vitaltalk, and other regional courses powered by VitalTalk). We are willing to consider other experiences, so if you haven't been to one of these courses, and still want to enroll in the FD course, please contact us by email.

You will be asked to provide your pre-requisite information upon application, which will be reviewed for suitability. If you have questions please e-mail us at info@vitaltalk.org.

4. What is included in tuition?

Tuition for the course is inclusive of all course days, lodging and course day meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner). For the Faculty Development course, tuition is also inclusive of the Faculty license fee, which is good for two years per faculty member.  This license fee gives you access to documents and resources that will help you plan and run your own course. 

5. What are your tuition due dates and cancellation policies?

Tuition Due Dates: 50% tuition is due upon registration for the course.  Full tuition is due no later than 60 days prior to the course.  

Cancellation Policy: Our courses are limited to 24 spaces and typically have an extensive waiting list. Given our participants’ need to make advanced scheduling decisions and our wish to accommodate as many people as possible, we have a strict cancellation policy. All requests for refunds MUST be submitted in writing to info@vitaltalk.org. Written requests for refunds will be processed according to the deadlines below:

  • Cancellation email received at least 120 days prior to the first course date – full refund, less a $250 per person administrative fee
  • Cancellation email received at least 90 days prior to the course – no refund of initial 50% tuition deposit
  • Cancellation email received less than 90 days prior to the course – no refund on full tuition

6. What do I need to know for planning travel?

All participants are responsible for arranging their own travel to and from Aspen.

  • We suggest that you fly into Aspen, which has a small regional airport. The Gant hotel is only 10 minutes from the airport. Call the Gant upon arrival (970) 925.5000 and they will send a free shuttle to pick you up. 
  • You also have the option of either taking a shuttle or renting a car from Denver and driving to Aspen; plan for 3.5-4 hours drive time.
  • The course days run from 7:30am to 8pm, so we ask that participants arrive the evening before the course starts and depart the morning after the course ends.  

Hotel: As outlined in the tuition section, lodging is included for 3 nights based on the above timing.  Lodging is typically at The Gant in Aspen, 610 S W End St, Aspen, CO 81611.  Accommodations will be in two bedroom condos, and each person will have a private bedroom within a shared condo. We can help you arrange any special hotel requests such as extending your stay. Please note that you can request to stay in a one bedroom condo, but we will ask that you pay for your own hotel.

7. Can I bring a significant other or family?

Our courses are very intensive. Course days run from breakfast through dinner, therefore while it is your choice if you bring family members along, we highly recommend that you attend on your own. Allow yourself the opportunity to step away from the priorities of daily life and be truly present during the training. It will make for a much better experience, and will enable you to absorb the large amount of content that will be shared.

If you do choose to bring others, it is important to understand that the expectation is that you will not be able to spend time with them during the course days. In addition, you will be responsible for paying for your own lodging if you are bringing a family member; lodging must be at the same location as the training (typically The Gant hotel).