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Barret Michalec

An award-winning sociologist, Michalec has been internationally recognized as a disrupter and galvanizing force within healthcare delivery and health professions education - challenging common educational and training processes and developing evidence-supported practices to cultivate humility, empathy, and well-being among healthcare professionals and health profession students.  

Michalec’s work also explores health disparities within the health professions, focusing on how the structural design of the professional pathways perpetuates the lack of diversity of the healthcare workforce and systems-based approaches to enhance professionals’ and students’ sense of belonging in the clinical and educational learning environments.

He is the director of the Center for Advancing Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (CAIPER) and an associate professor in the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation. 

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“There’s a very broad concept called emotional contagion and it’s just like it sounds. Just like a cold is contagious or a yawn is contagious, emotional states can be contagious. You can catch the emotional state of another person. And what’s really interesting is that research shows that that is an innate ability that we have. We are born with the ability to sense and feel what others are feeling. We are born with this superpower.”