Using Bedside Rounds to Teach Communication Skills in the Internal Medicine Clerkship
BACKGROUND:Physicians' communication skills, which are linked to important patient outcomes, are rarely explicitly taught during the clinical years of medical school. This paper describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a communication skills curriculum during the third-year Internal Medicine Clerkship. METHODS:In four two-hour structured bedside rounds with trained Internal Medicine faculty facilitators, students learned core communication skills in the context of common challenging clinical situations. In an end-of-clerkship survey students evaluated the curriculum's educational effectiveness. RESULTS:Over the course of a year, 160 third-year students and 15 faculty participated. Of the 75/160 (47%) of students who completed the post-clerkship survey, almost all reported improvement in their communication skills and their ability to deal with specific communication challenges. CONCLUSIONS:The curriculum appears to be a successful way to reinforce core communication skills and practice common challenging situations students encounter during the Internal Medicine Clerkship.
Teaching Communication Skills on the Surgery Clerkship
BACKGROUND: Physician communication skills, linked to important patient outcomes, are rarely formally addressed after the pre-clinical years of medical school. We implemented a new communication skills curriculum during the third year Surgery Clerkship which was part of a larger curriculum revision found in a controlled trial to significantly improve students' overall communication competence. DESCRIPTION: In three 2 hour workshops students, learned to address common communication challenges in surgery: patient education, shared decision-making, and delivering bad news. Each 2 hour, surgeon facilitated session was comprised of a 30 minute introductory lecture, a 15 minute checklist driven video critique, a 15 minute group discussion, a 45 minute standardized patient (SP) exercise with feedback from the SP, peers, and faculty member, and a 15 minute closing summary. To date, over 25 surgery faculty have been trained to conduct these sessions. In an end-of-clerkship survey, students reported on skill changes and assessed the curriculum's educational effectiveness. EVALUATION: A survey was completed by 120 of the 160 (76%) third year students who participated in the curriculum. Fifty-five percent of students reported improvement in their communication skills and ability to address specific communication challenges. Students were satisfied with the amount and quality of teaching. CONCLUSIONS: Communication skills teaching can be implemented in the surgery clerkship, and surgeons are particularly well suited to teach about patient education, discussing informed consent and shared decision making, and delivering bad news. Structured case-based sessions are acceptable to, and improve the self-assessed skills of, surgery clerkship students. Faculty development geared toward such sessions has added benefits to educational activities in a clinical department overall.
Teaching communication in clinical clerkships: models from the macy initiative in health communications
Medical educators have a responsibility to teach students to communicate effectively, yet ways to accomplish this are not well-defined. Sixty-five percent of medical schools teach communication skills, usually in the preclinical years; however, communication skills learned in the preclinical years may decline by graduation. To address these problems the New York University School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School collaborated to develop, establish, and evaluate a comprehensive communication skills curriculum. This work was funded by the Josiah P. Macy, Jr. Foundation and is therefore referred to as the Macy Initiative in Health Communication. The three schools use a variety of methods to teach third-year students in each school a set of effective clinical communication skills. In a controlled trial this cross-institutional curriculum project proved effective in improving communication skills of third-year students as measured by a comprehensive, multistation, objective structured clinical examination. In this paper the authors describe the development of this unique, collaborative initiative. Grounded in a three-school consensus on the core skills and critical components of a communication skills curriculum, this article illustrates how each school tailored the curriculum to its own needs. In addition, the authors discuss the lessons learned from conducting this collaborative project, which may provide guidance to others seeking to establish effective cross-disciplinary skills curricula
Teaching at the bedside: a new model
The patient is at the center of clinical medicine. In order to effectively teach clinical skills a teacher must learn to involve patients in the educational process. It is through this process that learners acquire the skills of observation, communication, examination and professionalism. Despite the importance of teaching with the patient present, many clinical teachers are hesitant to teach at the bedside. This paper describes a workshop on bedside teaching. The authors present barriers and advantages discussed during the workshop as well as a 'Model of Best Bedside Teaching Practices', which emerged after conducting the workshop for over 135 medical educators. The model includes suggested skills for effective bedside teaching that are arranged into three domains: attending to patient comfort, focused teaching and group dynamics.
Faculty development online: an observation and feedback module
Leave them asking for more: The acceptability of a new clerkship communication skills curriculum. Initial evaluation of the Macy Initiative in Health Communication. [Meeting Abstract]