Teaching communication at the Medical School in Ljubljana

Marija Petek Šter

Abstract


Early clinical exposure helps medical students to develop appropriateattitudes towards their learning and future medical practice andgive them an opportunity for improving communication skills. Newcurriculum at the Medical faculty of Ljubljana introduced early clinicalexposure (ECE) for the first year medical students through thesubject “Communication”. We present the aims and the content of thecurriculum “Communication” and present our experience, students’feedback, dilemmas and ideas for the future development of the curriculum.Decision for the introduction of this subject is based on theresult of survey about the key competences of doctors, review of theliterature and empirical recognition of the fact that previous programmelacked the necessary knowledge and experience for good interpersonalcommunication. The main goals of our teaching are in improvingcommunication skills and understanding and assuming thatgood doctor-patients relationship is crucial for the successful treatment.The curriculum consists of theoretical part (lectures from medicalpsychology) and practical part (communication in a small groupusing prepared vignettes, interview with nursing home residents andobservation of general practitioners’ work during their 1-day practiceattachment). Students evaluated the curriculum as very valuable at thebeginning of their learning. The practical part of the programme, inwhich they had contact with patients and experienced the role of aphysician, better, was highly appreciated. ECE help medical studentsimprove their communication skills, they interact with more confidencein interaction with patients and develop appropriate personalattitudes for their future professional carrier.

Keywords


Curriculum changes; Early clinical exposure; Communication; Experience; Dilemmas

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References


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