Communication Skills

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has happened.                                                                                                    George Bernard Shaw


Communication skills for doctors

How to acquire communication skills

Learning clinical and communication skills

Handling aggressive patients

Breaking bad news

Communication skills for trainers

Communication skills for managers

Doctor-Patient: Body language

Doctors are from Venus, patients are from Mars

The doctor-patient communication

Teaching students communication Vs clinical reasoning relationship

Oral communication toolkit

Written communication skills


Good communication skills include not just a good base of knowledge- it is built on compassion, interpersonal understanding and the ability to explain in understandable terms, in the local language, avoiding jargon.


The role of communication skills in medicine is enormous. Communication is necessary with patients, colleagues, superiors, juniors, contemporaries in other colleges, institutes, subjects, professions. It is an important connection between communication and clinical reasoning.


Understanding the patient's biological, psychosocial and cultural background is necessary for effective patient care. A physician must use communication skills, biomedical knowledge and clinical judgment to generate and modify diagnostic hypotheses (i.e., clinical reasoning). Research shows many inadequacies in clinicians' skills including incomplete solicitation of patient concerns and inconsistent exploration of psychosocial issues. These practices can lead to inappropriate prioritization of problems, impaired clinical reasoning and poor therapeutic alliances with the potential for medical error and harm. 


A vital duty of a doctor is conveying bad news to patients or their relatives, be it a bad prognosis, mortality or sometimes probable difficulties like huge expenses etc. Nothing tests our communication skills so much as breaking bad news. Such conversations can be extremely emotional for both doctor and patient. The right words said in the right way make a huge difference.


Studies suggest that communication skills training may improve students' ability to gather accurate, relevant information. Teaching communication and clinical reasoning in isolation may prevent students from understanding the important link between these skills and may lead them to undervalue the psychosocial aspects of patient care. These skills can be fostered in students through training, group discussions, debate, being role models, inviting good trainers.


Effective teaching methods include:

  • Provide evidence of current deficiencies in communication, reasons for them, and the consequences for patients and doctors
  • Offer an evidence base for the skills needed to overcome these deficiencies
  • Demonstrate the skills to be learned and elicit reactions to these
  • Provide an opportunity to practice the skills under controlled and safe conditions
  • Give constructive feedback on performance and reflect on the reasons for any blocking



Overview of the learning process

Questions posed

Communication skills

Scientific temper

Interpersonal Skills

Emotional Intelligence

Leadership and teamwork


Service Orientation

Assessment of Non-scholastic abilities

Dialogue and discussion by the Chatterati!

Summary- Communication skills



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