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Korean J Med Educ. 2009 Mar;21(1):35-41. doi: 10.3946/kjme.2009.21.1.35. Epub 2009 Mar 31.

Trends of communication skills education in medical schools.

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Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.



To investigate the past and current status of teaching communication skills in undergraduate medical education and to review how medical education is progressing.


A selective search was conducted of the literature that was published from 1960 to Jun 2008 in the MEDLINE, EMBASE, ERIC, Psychlnfo, and KMbase databases using "communication." All articles in 13 medical journals (including Academic Medicine, Medical Education, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, Medical Teacher, and Korean Journal of Medical Education) were reviewed. Each article was categorized according to 5 subjects (curriculum, methods, assessment, student factors, and research type).


A total of 306 studies met the inclusion criteria for this study. Curriculum was the most frequent subject (n=85), followed by assessment (n=71), student factors (n=48), and methods (n=23). According to this research, the current trends of teaching communication skills in medical school are characterized by curriculum development,' 'blended-methods,' 'multisource assessment,' 'student attitudes,' and 'comparative studies' of education.


It is time to figure it out optimistic ways to design a formal course. Now, 4 current trends in teaching and learning are emerging in communication skills. Curriculum development is stabilizing a variety of teaching methods are being adopted; a method of multisource assessment is being identified and the need to consider student attitudesis being recognized. In the near future, objective, comprehensive, and sophisticated evaluation is going to be the top priority in teaching communication skills with a variety of research types.


Communication; Periodicals as topic; Undergraduate medical education

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