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Patient Educ Couns. 2010 May;79(2):199-206. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.08.012. Epub 2009 Sep 11.

Faculty and medical students' perceptions of teaching and learning about the doctor-patient relationship.

Author information

1
Tacoma Family Medicine, Tacoma, WA 98407-5920, USA. tom.egnew@multicare.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore student and faculty perceptions of how students are learning doctor-patient relationship skills in their clinical medical education.

METHODS:

Exploratory qualitative study involving data from interviews and focus groups with students and interviews with teaching faculty.

RESULTS:

Respondents reported that pre-clinical relationship skills curricula were not well-coordinated with clinical curricula. Within the clinical curriculum, respondents perceived a disparity between general practice and hospital-based attachments. Teaching of relationship skills on the wards was highly variable, rarely explicit, and primarily dependent on role-modelling. In contrast, general practice runs included explicit teaching with feedback that reinforced skills taught in the pre-clinical curriculum. Respondents recommended increased focus on and assessment of students' interpersonal skills within clinical settings.

CONCLUSION:

Pre-clinical and clinical relationship skills curricula were not coordinated. The tension between service commitments and student teaching in hospital-based attachments contributed to an insufficient focus on communication and relationship skills acquisition and did not reinforce teaching in pre-clinical and ambulatory clinical settings.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

The teaching of doctor-patient relationship skills can be augmented by coordinating pre-clinical and clinical curricula and by requiring observation and structured feedback related to explicit criteria of student skills acquisition across all clinical learning experiences.

PMID:
19748201
DOI:
10.1016/j.pec.2009.08.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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