Constructing communication skills through preparation, experience, reflection and feedback
AbstractThe skill of communication is one of the foundation stones of medical practice and profoundly influences patient-care and health outcomes. The importance of teaching, assessing, and learning communication skills in undergraduate medical education is supported by the literature, as is continually addressing these skills in continuing medical education practice. The following article explores the innovative nature of a communication skills examination and feedback from medical students early in their clinical training in relation to a communication skills examination process. This process comprises a learning cycle of preparation, experience, self-appraisal, and examiner feedback. A total of 125 students provided feedback on this examination process by responding to four items related to this communication skills examination. The evaluation statistics showed that students responded favourably to the usefulness of the examination showing that all four domains are integral to the examination process. This communication skills examination process with its learning activities is effective on several levels as it provides a summative grade that can be used as a measure for competency and it creates a significant impact on learning.
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Copyright (c) 2012 Susan J. Hawken, Marcus A. Henning
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