Medical student training in communication skills

Joshua Hauser*, Gregory Makoul

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Communication is increasingly understood to be a fundamental clinical skill. It is critical to effective diagnosis and management, as well as to connecting with patients on a cognitive and emotional level. In addition, communication skills themselves have been linked with patient outcomes, including satisfaction, adherence, and decreased malpractice incidence. For medical students, communication skills training generally begins in the preclinical years and extends into the clinical years, where increasing levels of sophistication and more in vivo experiences can be taught. This chapter reviews general approaches to teaching communication skills in medical schools and then considers several specific aspects to communication skills in oncology and palliative care for medical students. Approaches to communication teaching and assessment in medical school include smallgroup teaching and role play, interviews with real patients, and interviews with simulated patients. This chapter also considers the SEGUE framework for teaching and assessing communication skills and the link between communication and teamwork in palliative care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191730290
ISBN (Print)9780199238361
StatePublished - Nov 17 2011


  • Communication skills
  • Interviews
  • Medical schools
  • Medical students
  • Oncology
  • Palliative care
  • Role play
  • SEGUE framework
  • Teaching
  • Teamwork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing


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