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Clin Teach. 2016 Apr;13(2):98-101. doi: 10.1111/tct.12389. Epub 2015 Jun 14.

What kind of doctor would you like me to be?

Author information

1
Keele University School of Medicine, David Weatherall Building, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The modern medical school curriculum highlights the importance of good communication skills, although some clinicians still remain sceptical about the reduction of core science teaching in favour of these so-called softer skills. Previous studies into these topics are few and contradictory, with a heavy dependence on methodology and geographical source.

METHODS:

A semi-structured interview was conducted using the question 'I am about to qualify as a doctor in less than a year's time. As a patient, what advice would you give me? What kind of doctor would you like me to be if you came to me with an illness?' Responses were recorded anonymously on paper, verbatim. The responses were grouped into four broad classifications: personal qualities; communication skills; knowledge and intelligence; and manual skills.

RESULTS:

Data were collected from 51 patients. In total 118 attributes were identified and categorised.

DISCUSSION:

This education evaluation indicates that the patients we talked with in the UK counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire overwhelmingly sought doctors with good personal qualities and communication skills. Of the attributes recorded, 92 per cent were related to such qualities, with only 8 per cent emphasising knowledge and intelligence, and with no comments on manual skills. The results support the current emphasis in UK medical schools on communication skills and professionalism, and the development of personal qualities through the promotion of humanities teaching. The modern medical school curriculum highlights the importance of good communication skills.

PMID:
26073865
DOI:
10.1111/tct.12389
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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