3040 : COMMUNICATION SKILLS: TO TEACH OR NOT TO TEACH?

Author(s): 
Valica, Tatiana; Rosenbaum, Marcy
Text: 
Oral Presentation
Research Based
OBJECTIVE: In a country where Family Medicine is a relatively new discipline, we sought to identify physician and residents' knowledge regarding clinician-patient communication and their willingness to be trained in this area.
METHOD: A 24-item survey was administered to family physicians and residents regarding the duration, frequency, and content of communication skills training they had received and their view regarding the necessity of such training to improve the everyday medical interview.
RESULTS: 68 family physicians and 32 residents responded to the survey. 63 respondents had received no training and 37 reported only 1 to 5 hours of communication skills training during their career. Although 83% of respondents demonstrated basic knowledge in communication skills, the majority showed a significant lack of understanding of patient-centred interview. All (100%) reported strong need and interest in receiving communication skills training; lack of undergraduate education in this area and under standing of strong impact of communication skills for health outcomes.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS: Formal communication skills can be and must be taught. Our survey of Family Physicians in Moldova, demonstrates both a strong need and interest in developing more formal communication skills training opportunities for practising physicians and residents. We propose developing a basic course to be taught during the first year of residency program, when the formal responsibility for patient care appears and then reinforcing this training in CME. It is likely that these same steps will need to be taken in other countries where Family Medicine is a new discipline.
Topic: Doctor/Patient Relationship