Community based medical education as a driver for enhancing intra-professional communication skills for medical students
Patients rely on the way that doctors communicate with one another to facilitate and maximise their care. The community based setting serves as an ideal learning environment for medical students to monitor this interaction and enhance intra-professional communication skills. Should this vital area of communication become an active part of the undergraduate medical curriculum? Personal view It seems that the patient exists in two spheres of medicine: community based care and hospital based care.
... They move between the two, but the transition is not always smooth. As doctors we aim to practice patient-centred care. We work under the principle of how we can provide the greatest benefit to our patients and we advocate for them. However, when we cast our patients out from the domain we know well, into another sphere of medicine, we hope they will follow a smooth and clearly marked path. We do so with a written or verbal communication accompanying them, the contents of which may vary greatly. We hope that this communication will serve as a guide, carry the relevant message to the intended recipient and answer questions for healthcare providers and patients. Breakdown in this communication mechanism can lead to frustration for the patient and for the healthcare provider. It can also increase the potential for patient harm. Medical students are experiencing a greater emphasis on learning communication skills within the consultation. Community based learning provides the perfect setting to observe the impact of communication within the profession and on its outcome for patients. Primary care doctors are generally more readily accessible to patients Hampson J MedEdPublish https://doi.