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J Surg Educ. 2018 Mar - Apr;75(2):417-426. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.08.011. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Communication Skills Training in Ophthalmology: Results of a Needs Assessment and Pilot Training Program.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Mass Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts.
2
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Landmark Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
3
Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
4
University of British Columbia Eye Care Centre (VGH), Boston Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia.
5
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Landmark Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
6
Department of Ophthalmology, Mass Eye and Ear, Boston, Massachusetts. Electronic address: Carolyn_kloek@meei.harvard.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To conduct a needs assessment to identify gaps in communication skills training in ophthalmology residency programs and to use these results to pilot a communication workshop that prepares residents for difficult conversations.

DESIGN:

A mixed-methods design was used to perform the needs assessment. A pre-and postsurvey was administered to workshop participants.

SETTING:

Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School (HMS), Department of Ophthalmology.

PARTICIPANTS:

HMS ophthalmology residents from postgraduate years 2-4 participated in the needs assessment and the workshop. Ophthalmology residency program directors in the United States participated in national needs assessment.

METHODS:

Ophthalmology program directors across the United States were queried on their perception of resident communication skills training through an online survey. A targeted needs assessment in the form of a narrative exercise captured resident perspectives on communication in ophthalmology from HMS residents. A group of HMS residents participated in the pilot workshop and a pre- and postsurvey was administered to participants to assess its effectiveness.

RESULTS:

The survey of program directors yielded a response rate of 40%. Ninety percent of respondents agreed that the communication skills training in their programs could be improved. Fifteen of 24 residents (62%) completed the needs assessment. Qualitative analysis of the narrative material revealed four themes; (1) differing expectations, (2) work role and environment, (3) challenges specific to ophthalmology, and (4) successful strategies adopted. Nine residents participated in the workshop. There was a significant improvement post-workshop in resident reported scores on their ability to manage their emotions during difficult conversations (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

There is an opportunity to improve communication skills training in ophthalmology residency through formalized curriculum.

KEYWORDS:

Interpersonal and Communication Skills; communication; empathy; graduate medical training; ophthalmology

PMID:
28870710
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsurg.2017.08.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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