Studies suggest that communication is critical for patient satisfaction, and while negative patient-doctor communication could worsen symptoms, improving communication may influence outcomes. In fact, better communication is the key to lowering health care costs and improving patient experience. Nevertheless, communication is a two-way street in healthcare. Particularly, when it comes to those who suffer from critical, severe and life-threatening conditions, establishing a strong culture of compassion improves the quality of care. Hence, taking a humanistic approach by sustaining empathy and compassion is critical for such patients.

Founded in 2016, the International Association of Communication in Healthcare (IACH) is a not-for-profit learned society as a part of the Universal Scientific Education and Research Network at Tehran University of Medical Sciences.

Its main objective is to improve communication and relationships between physicians and patients. The group tends to provide training opportunities (i.e. webinars, workshops and seminars) on communication in healthcare and offers the bibliography of trends, models, and spotlights on the topic. This association is the first of its kind in Iran and successfully held local seminars and workshops for the medical community.

The IACH board members consist of distinguished scholars in medical, social and behavioral sciences who include the Executive Director and Advisory Board members, in addition to the Secretary at this moment.

The Executive Director is responsible for coordinating executive tasks and monitoring the Association’s activities and supervising the process of monitoring conducted by board members. The Executive Director serves a 3-year term, which is renewable upon satisfactory review by the Association’s advisory board and the USERN’s board of directors.

The Advisory Board members are senior experts who are responsible for scientific guidance of the Association and provide guidance to the Executive Director on issues regarding the scope and direction of the Association and provide suggestions to identify new opportunities in emerging areas. The Advisory Board members may define research projects and supervise them. In addition, they are the Association’s ambassadors and should endorse it. The members of the Advisory Board shall serve as the scientific committee of the events including seminars, conferences and symposiums which are hosted by the Association. An Advisory Board member serves 2-year renewable term.

Secretary is responsible for providing assistance to the ED and also directing communication with board member and members, who serves a one-year renewable term.




Alireza Salehi-Nejad

University of Tehran

Executive Director

Bryan B. Whaley

University of San Francisco


Diana Slade

University of Technology Sydney


May O. Lwin

Nanyang Technological University


Maysel White

Brown University


Majid Karandish

Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences


Mehdi Rassafiani

University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences


Rob Lane

University of Leeds


Shakaib U. Rehman

Department of Veterans Affairs


Zahra Khazaeipour

Tehran University of Medical Sciences


Mahin Nakhshab

Islamic Azad University