How can Doctors Improve their Communication Skills
Authors: Piyush Ranjan, Archana Kumari, and Avinash Chakrawarty
Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research
The process of curing a patient requires a holistic approach which involves considerations beyond treating a disease. It warrants several skills in a doctor along with technical expertise. Studies have shown that good communication skill in a doctor improve patient’s compliance and overall satisfaction. There are certain basic principles of practicing good communication. Patient listening, empathy, and paying attention to the paraverbal and non verbal components of the communication are the important ones that are frequently neglected. Proper information about the nature, course and prognosis of the disease is important. Besides, patients and attendants should always be explained about the necessity and yield of expensive investigations and risks/benefits involved in invasive procedures. One should be extremely cautious while managing difficult encounters and breaking bad news. Formal training of the doctors in improving communication skills is necessary and has proven to improve overall outcome. The authors recommend inclusion of formal training in communication skills in medical curriculum and training of practising doctors in the form of CMEs and CPEs.
The full article is available from the US National Library of Medicine.