Communication Skills for Medical and Dental Students: A Student-Centred Approach to Curriculum Development

TitleCommunication Skills for Medical and Dental Students: A Student-Centred Approach to Curriculum Development
Duration1 Year
Project Summary

When patients are asked what they value most in their doctors they say: professional competence and good communications. We teach a lot of the first, little of the second. A proficiency in higher order communication skills is essential to acceptable and effective health professional behaviour. Current training is fragmented and largely confined to early, non-clinical years. This project will develop an outline and details of a longitudinal, integrated communication skills curriculum to be implemented in the new medical/dental program at UBC. It will involve students at all levels to (1) identify existing weaknesses and gaps in the program and (2) to design a curriculum comprised of the following steps: (a) identification of essential and desirable incoming skills, (b) conduct a critical analysis for improvement of existing courses in 1st and 2nd year, and (c) develop proposals and plan for continuation to higher level skills in the later clinical years. The method will involve student and faculty working-groups through interviews, surveys and focus groups guided by a coordinator (educational programmer) in collaboration with a wide range of stake holders that have been identified and are supportive in their expertise, authority and representation.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project YearYear 1
Year 1: Funding Year1999/2000
Year 1: Project TypeSmall TLEF
Year 1: Principal InvestigatorAngela Towle
Year 1: Funded Amount47,950
Year 1: Team Members

Angela Towle, Director, MD Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Medicine
William Goldolphin, Professor, Pathology / Co-Director, Faculty Development, Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine