Advances in Medical Education and Practices
Ali, N.B., Pelletier, S.R. & Shields, H.M.
Medical students are expected to develop excellent communication skills. The purpose of our study was to create an innovative communication skills exercise using real volunteer patients and physician co-teachers for students to practice communication skills while receiving immediate feedback.
This is a mixed methods study where second-year medical students participated in the communication skills exercise with real patients and physician co-teachers giving immediate feedback. Clinical scenarios reflected the patients' actual experiences. Students acted out roles as physicians. Physicians co-taught with the patients and gave immediate feedback to students. Students completed an anonymous written survey at the end of the exercise. Qualitative and quantitative responses were recorded. Student feedback from the 2014 surveys was used to modify the teaching designs to increase active role play opportunities by having only two students in each group and doubling the number of stations with real patients.