Education in patient-physician communication: How to improve effectiveness?

Jan C. Wouda*, Harry B. M. van de Wiel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: Despite educational efforts expertise in communication as required by the CanMEDS competency framework is not achieved by medical students and residents. Several factors complicate the learning of professional communication.

    Methods: We adapted the reflective impulsive model of social behaviour to explain the complexities of learning professional communication behaviour. We formulated recommendations for the learning objectives and teaching methods of communication education. Our recommendations are based on the reflective impulsive model and on the model of deliberate practice which complements the reflective-impulsive model. Our recommendations are substantiated by those we found in the literature.

    Results: The reflective-impulsive model explains why the results of communication education fall below expectations and how expertise in communication can be attained by deliberate practice. The model of deliberate practice specifies learning conditions which are insufficiently fulfilled in current communication programmes.

    Conclusion: The implementation of our recommendations would require a great deal of effort. Therefore we doubt whether expertise in professional communication can be fully attained during medical training.

    Practice implications: We propose that the CanMEDS communication competencies not be regarded as endpoints in medical education but as guidelines to improve communication competency through deliberate practice throughout a professional career. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)46-53
    Number of pages8
    JournalPatient Education and Counseling
    Volume90
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan-2013

    Keywords

    • Clinical communication
    • Expertise
    • Curriculum development
    • Learning objectives
    • Teaching methods
    • SHARED DECISION-MAKING
    • MEDICAL-STUDENTS
    • CLINICAL COMMUNICATION
    • PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION
    • CENTERED COMMUNICATION
    • HEALTH-PROFESSIONALS
    • CONCEPTUAL-FRAMEWORK
    • CONSENSUS STATEMENT
    • INTERVIEWING SKILLS
    • EXPERT-PERFORMANCE

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