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Cancer Prev Control. 1999 Feb;3(1):46-50.

The role of medical organizations in supporting doctor-patient communication.

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  • 1College of Family Physicians of Canada, Mississauga, Ont.


The clinical competence of physicians depends largely on the education, accreditation, certification and licensing programs offered by the various Canadian medical organizations. In virtually all of these, doctor-patient communication is a required element. Educational programs at all levels are subject to accreditation by a number of different organizations including undergraduate medical programs (Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools), residency training (College of Family Physicians of Canada and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada) and continuing medical education (CFPC and RCPSC). Doctor-patient communication is a key element in teaching at all levels. The two colleges also emphasize communications in the certification process. The provincial licensing authorities are aware of the importance of effective communication between physicians and patients. Several of the them have physician assessment programs, and recently they have started to assess a model of mandatory performance review. Both of these approaches assess physician-patient communication. There is increasing pressure, with strong support from consumers, that some level of communication skills competency should be imposed by the licensing authorities. Most approaches to exposing physicians to communications focus on rewards rather than coercion but a number of possible schemes could be considered to promote communication skills.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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