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MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 332-336

Identifying core competency areas to assess communication skills among interns at a tertiary teaching hospital in southern India


1 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala 673008, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala 673008, India
3 Department of Paediatrics, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala 673008, India
4 Department of Pharmacology, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala 673008, India

Correspondence Address:
Asma A Rahim
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala 673008
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.239076

Background. We aimed to develop a teaching–learning and evaluation programme on communication skills for interns. Core competency areas for focused communication skills training and assessment were identified to achieve the obective. We then assessed the identified competencies among interns using objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), before the start of internship. Methods. Five core areas for focused training and evaluation were identified on the basis of responses of practising physicians in local settings. OSCE stations were developed for evaluation based on the identified competency areas. A pre-test OSCE was administered to 30 interns. Results. Five core areas selected for training and evaluation were: (i) communicating with a parent resistant to immunization; (ii) interacting with a patient who has psychosomatic complaints; (iii) explaining risks and procedures; (iv) breaking bad news; and (v) communicating with patients and bystanders in a casualty setting. Thirty of 160 interns were selected to participate in the OSCE before the training (pre-test). The lowest score was for breaking bad news. Scores indicated that explaining risks and procedures, communicating in a busy casualty setting and dealing with psychosomatic complaints were areas that required extensive training and practice. Conclusions. We were able to identify core competency areas for focused training and evaluation of communication skills suited to the local context and used OSCE to evaluate the skills before the start of internship.


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