- November 28th 2011
With some training, surgical residents can improve the quality of information they communicate to patients about a specific condition, such as prostate cancer. But the training doesn't improve more general communication skills, such as empathy, says a study in the August Archives of Surgery.
The study focused on 44 University of Connecticut School of Medicine general surgery residents who participated in a three-part interactive program. The program featured learning principles of patient communication, role-playing, and hearing a surgeon's experience as a physician, patient and patient's spouse.
Before the training, residents scored a median 65% on a checklist of items they needed to cover with patients, including explaining what type of cancer the patient has, asking about the patient's emotions and discussing treatment. After training, the median score for what the study called case-specific communication skills jumped to 84%.
But improvement was not seen in general communi [Read more]