Television shows teach communication skills in internal medicine residency

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To address evidence-based effective communication skills in the formal academic half day curriculum of our core internal medicine residency program, we designed and delivered an interactive session using excerpts taken from medically-themed television shows.

We selected two excerpts from the television show House, and one from Gray’s Anatomy and featured them in conjunction with a brief didactic presentation of the Kalamazoo consensus statement on doctor-patient communication.

Our residents indicated that their understanding of an evidence-based model of effective communication such as the Kalamazoo model, and their comfort levels in applying such model in clinical practice increased significantly. Furthermore, residents’ understanding levels of the seven essential competencies listed in the Kalamazoo model also improved significantly. Finally, the residents reported that their comfort levels in three challenging clinical scenarios presented to them improved significantly.