Fostering Communication Skills

communication   A comparative study was conducted assessing the communication skills of first and second year medical students.  Students were observed interacting with simulated patients in a clinical scenario.  Their communication skills were observed and assessed by simulated patients, communication skills faculty and health care faculty not trained in communication skills.  Due to a curriculum change, one cohort of students had no formal training in communication skills (2nd year students), while the cohort of first year students had communication skills as part of their medical school curriculum.  As expected, all three groups of reviewers rated the communication skills of the first year students with the formal training in communication higher than those of second year students.  An interesting finding was that there was no significant difference between the rating scores given to both groups of students by the simulated patients and by the communication skills faculty.  The ratings, however scored by the non-communication skills faculty were significantly higher than the other two assessor groups for the same student interactions.  Simulated patients, who worked with the students in these exercises, were more in sync with the faculty who were actively involved in teaching communication skills than health care faculty who were not.  This underscores the need to have appropriate facilitators for gauging student exercises.  – Lee Ann Schein, Ph.D.

Assessors For Communication Skills: Sps Or Healthcare Professionals?
Liew, Siaw. Medical Teacher Volume: 36 Issue: 7 (2014-01-01) p. 626 – 631. ISSN: 1466-187X

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