Teaching and Assessing Communication Skills in Medical Undergraduate Training

examJYOTI NATH MODI, ANSHU, JUGESH CHHATWAL, PIYUSH GUPTA AND TEJINDER SINGH

Good communication skills are essential for an optimal doctor-patient relationship, and also contribute to improved health outcomes.

Although the need for training in communication skills is stated as a requirement in the 1997 Graduate Medical Education Regulations of the Medical Council of India, formal training in these skills has been fragmentary and non-uniform in most Indian curricula.

The “Vision 2015” document of the Medical Council of India reaffirms the need to include training in communication skills in the MBBS curriculum.

Training in communication skills needs approaches which are different from that of teaching other clinical subjects. It is also a challenge to ensure that students not only imbibe the nuances of communication and interpersonal skills, but adhere to them throughout their careers.

This article addresses the possible ways of standardizing teaching and assessment of communication skills and integrating them into the existing curriculum.

Keywords: Communication, Interpersonal skills, Non-verbal communication, Medical education.

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