Senior Lecturer

Dr Sarah White

Business School
Centre for Social Impact


My goal is to enhance clinical care through improved communication between clinicians and consumers. To achieve this, I work to integrate clinical communication teaching and research, using up-to-date teaching methods, conducting research on teaching clinical communication, and using research to create data-driven teaching materials.

I lead an innovative program of research focused on improving communication between clinicians and patients. There are four main streams of work on communication within this program: a. consultation structures, including telehealth and comparing theory to practice; b. topic talk, including pain talk and lifestyle talk; c. communication education, such as authenticity in simulation and video-based teaching; and d. surgeon-patient consultations, including informed consent, referral letters, and responses to diagnosis.

As an educator, I create authentic learning experiences to support students to become critical thinkers and resilient professionals. This approach is designed to assist in developing learner capacity to analyse the quality of information, communicate and work in teams, and critically consider ethical, social, and professional challenges. As an educational leader, I aim to instil that same intense focus and commitment to evidence-informed student learning in those that I mentor and within the teams I lead. My accomplishments and reflective approach to learning and teaching were recognised through being awarded Senior Fellow of Advance HE (SFHEA) in 2019.

At a national and international level, I contribute to the field of communication in healthcare, particularly through my active membership of the International Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH) since 2015. In 2018 I was elected Deputy National Representative and through that, and my role in the policy and practice subcommittee at an international level, I worked to make further connections between research, teaching, and policy, particularly through development of a social media strategy. At an international level, I led recently the development of a position paper relating to policy and practice around communication in healthcare in response to COVID-19. In 2021, I was elected National Representative and have been working on developing a framework around communication in clinical practice.

  • Book Chapters | 2019
    White SJ, 2019, 'Conversation analysis: An introduction to methodology, data collection, and analysis', in Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences, pp. 471 - 490,
    Book Chapters | 2018
    White SJ, 2018, 'Conversation Analysis: An Introduction to Methodology, Data Collection, and Analysis', in Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences, Springer Singapore, pp. 1 - 20,
    Book Chapters |
    White SJ, '9. Closing clinical consultations', in Handbuch Sprache in der Medizin, DE GRUYTER,
  • Journal articles | 2022
    White S; Stubbe M, 2022, '“D’yuh like porridge”: Social talk as a relational, interactional, and clinical component of surgical consultations', Qualitative Health Communication, vol. 1, pp. 4 - 25,
    Journal articles | 2022
    White SJ, 2022, 'Bedside matters: Acknowledging responsibility in effective doctor–patient conversations', EMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia, vol. 34, pp. 280 - 281,
    Journal articles | 2022
    White SJ; Nguyen A; Cartmill JA, 2022, 'Agency and the telephone: Patient contributions to the clinical and interactional agendas in telehealth consultations', Patient Education and Counseling,
    Journal articles | 2022
    White SJ; Nguyen A; Roger P; Tse T; Cartmill JA; Willcock SM, 2022, 'Experiences of telehealth in general practice in Australia: research protocol for a mixed-methods study', BJGP Open, vol. 6, pp. 1 - 6,
    Journal articles | 2022
    White SJ; Preda V, 2022, 'Communication as a clinical skill: A challenge in the delivery of safe and effective patient care', Australian Health Review, vol. 46, pp. 62 - 63,
    Journal articles | 2022
    Willcock SM; Cartmill JA; Tse T; White SJ; Nguyen A; Roger P, 2022, 'How will telehealth change primary care in Australia?', BJGP Open, vol. 6,
    Journal articles | 2021
    Li Ching Ng A; McRobb LS; White SJ; Cartmill JA; Cyna AM; Seex K, 2021, 'Consent for spine surgery: an observational study', ANZ Journal of Surgery, vol. 91, pp. 1220 - 1225,
    Journal articles | 2021
    White SJ; Barello S; Cao di San Marco E; Colombo C; Eeckman E; Gilligan C; Graffigna G; Jirasevijinda T; Mosconi P; Mullan J; Rehman SU; Rubinelli S; Vegni E; Krystallidou D, 2021, 'Critical observations on and suggested ways forward for healthcare communication during COVID-19: pEACH position paper', Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 104, pp. 217 - 222,
    Journal articles | 2021
    White SJ; Butlin M; Brown A; White R, 2021, 'Correlation of patient- And clinician-assessment of pain: Comparing physiotherapy and general practice', Australian Journal of Primary Health, vol. 27, pp. 291 - 296,
    Journal articles | 2021
    White SJ; Stubbe M, 2021, 'Patient Responses to Diagnosis in Surgeon-Patient Consultations', Health Communication,
    Journal articles | 2021
    White SJ; Ward K; Hibberd E, 2021, 'A pilot of modified Conversation Analytic Role-play Method for one-to-one clinical communication training', Patient Education and Counseling, vol. 104, pp. 2748 - 2755,
    Journal articles | 2019
    Kocaballi AB; Coiera E; Tong HL; White SJ; Quiroz JC; Rezazadegan F; Willcock S; Laranjo L, 2019, 'A network model of activities in primary care consultations', Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, vol. 26, pp. 1074 - 1082,
    Journal articles | 2019
    White SJ, 2019, 'The science of talk in clinical science: using a conversation analytic approach as a foundation for communication skills training', MedEdPublish, vol. 8, pp. 224 - 224,
    Journal articles | 2016
    White SJ; Casey M, 2016, 'Understanding differences between actual and simulated surgical consultations: A scoping study', Australian Journal of Linguistics, vol. 36, pp. 257 - 272,
    Journal articles | 2014
    White SJ; Stubbe MH; Macdonald LM; Dowell AC; Dew KP; Gardner R, 2014, 'Framing the Consultation: The Role of the Referral in Surgeon-Patient Consultations', Health Communication, vol. 29, pp. 74 - 80,
    Journal articles | 2013
    White SJ; Stubbe MH; Dew KP; MacDonald LM; Dowell AC; Gardner R, 2013, 'Understanding communication between surgeon and patient in outpatient consultations', ANZ Journal of Surgery, vol. 83, pp. 307 - 311,
    Journal articles | 2012
    White SJ, 2012, 'Closing Surgeon-Patient Consultations', INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF PRAGMATICS, vol. 4, pp. 58 - 79,
    Journal articles | 2009
    2009, 'International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care, March 2009, Berlin, Germany', Quality and Safety in Health Care, vol. 18, pp. e1 - e1,
    Journal articles | 2009
    Journal articles | 2009
    Jorm CM; White S; Kaneen T, 2009, 'Clinical handover: critical communications.', The Medical journal of Australia, vol. 190,
    Journal articles | 2009
    Jorm CM; White SJ, 2009, 'Using research to make health care safer', Australian Health Review, vol. 33, pp. 400 - 407,