The Communication Skills Program, housed in the Division of Medical Education, is responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of communication skills teaching across the continuum of medical education. At the undergraduate level in Med 1 and 2, communication skills are integrated into the Clinical Skills Unit in the context of taking patient-centred medical histories and performing physical examinations. Continuing on into the clerkship years, learners consolidate and continue to build on their developing communication skills as they engage in progressively more in-depth and challenging patient-doctor interactions reflective of the increasing complexity of their practice within the larger health care team. Moving along the continuum into postgraduate education, communication skills teaching and learning is broadened beyond the patient-doctor focus to include skills specific to the medical resident’s expanding role as a teacher/scholar and collaborator.
Program Mission and Philosopy
The Communication Skills Program supports the Faculty of Medicine’s mission to prepare highly competent, caring and socially responsible physicians. This is realized through teaching/learning activities that affirm a patient-centred approach and build communication skills for effective clinical, scholarly and collaborative practice.
- To strengthen the patient-doctor relationship through effective patient-centred communication
- To prepare the learner/physician to adapt communication skills across diverse patient populations
- To promote effective communication skills for physicians in their role as teachers/learners and collaborators within intra and inter-professional health care teams.
The Communication Skills Program subscribes to a skills-based approach grounded in the philosophy that communication is a core clinical skill. Like any other skill, it can be learned and enhanced through repeated practice, reflection and analysis.
Directors Message - Dr. Joan Evans
Effective communication and interpersonal skills are the foundation of medical practice - not only in the context of meeting the often complex needs of patients, but also in the context of working as part of an interdisciplinary health care team. Communication skill, like any other medical skill, can be learned, taught, and enhanced over a lifetime of practice. Its importance in allowing physicians to make meaningful connections with patients to improve health outcomes and the joy of practice itself reveals the profoundly human enterprise of medicine.
Dr. Joan Evans, Director, Communication Skills Program; View CV
Communication Skills Program Committee