The communication skills of medical students: simulated versus real patients.

Peter leadbetter, I Fletcher, H O'Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Evidence linking effective patient doctor communication to better health and wellbeing outcomes for the patient and student, and for the delivery of high quality medical care is widely documented (GMC, 2003; Maguire & Pitceathly, 2002). Summary of work: 85% (n=254) 4th year Medical students volunteered to be videoed in a summative 10 minute communication skills OSCE station with simulated patients. A cohort of these students (n=25) were then videoed with several “real” patients each as part of Community placements in 5th year. The quality of communication in these consultations was rated with an International consensus coding scheme (Del Piccolo et al., 2006) that quantifies patient emotional cues/concerns with associated doctor’s responses. Summary of results: We are in the process of analysing the results. The statistical relationship between a sample of students’ coded video communication skills in an simulated setting (4th year OSCE) and with patients (5th year placement) will be analysed. Conclusion: Our hypothesis is that a significant relationship exists between students’ communication skills in an OSCE and communication skills with patients on community placement. Take-home message: Assessment of communication skills is largely based on simulated student/patient consultations at the University of Liverpool. There is clearly value in exploring if communication skills transfer to actual patient encounters.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 May 2009
EventAssociation for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Conference - Malaga, Spain
Duration: 29 Aug 20092 Sept 2009


ConferenceAssociation for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) Conference


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