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Med Educ. 1990 May;24(3):243-50.

Teaching psychiatric interview skills to medical students.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Liverpool.


A teaching package is described for teaching interview skills to large blocks of medical students whilst on their psychiatric attachment. The aims of this package are to reduce students' concerns about interviewing psychiatric patients, to reinforce students' knowledge of basic interviewing skills and to introduce students to the particular skills required in taking a psychiatric history and mental state examination. The package emphasizes the following teaching methods: 'hands-on' experience of interviewing a patient in front of small groups of peers; peer feedback using check-lists which focus on three major aspects of interviewing; elicitation of facts, elicitation of feelings and control of the interview; facilitation of small-group discussions in the presence of senior psychiatrist. The active involvement of all students in interviewing psychiatric patients engages them in the learning process. Peer involvement increases motivation and was deemed by students as a supportive and constructive exercise. The presence of a senior psychiatrist ensures that discussion is focused on the process of interviewing rather than on patient pathology. Ideally this package would precede focused training throughout the subsequent psychiatric placement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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