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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 1501-1502

Comments on: Development and introduction of a communication skills module for postgraduate students of ophthalmology


1 St. George's, University of London, Tooting, London, SW17 0RE, United Kingdom
2 St. George's University Hospital NHS Trust, Tooting, London, SW17 0RE, United Kingdom

Date of Web Publication25-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Miss. Naomi Melamed
St. George's, University of London, Tooting, London, SW17 0RE
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_81_20

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How to cite this article:
Melamed N, Bhatia V, Poole GO, Ben-David EI. Comments on: Development and introduction of a communication skills module for postgraduate students of ophthalmology. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:1501-2

How to cite this URL:
Melamed N, Bhatia V, Poole GO, Ben-David EI. Comments on: Development and introduction of a communication skills module for postgraduate students of ophthalmology. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Jul 13];68:1501-2. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2020/68/7/1501/287567



Dear Editor,

We would like to thank Bhagat et al. for their article highlighting the need for structured training in communication skills for postgraduate ophthalmology students.[1] While reassured by the effectiveness of their proposed teaching model, we found it surprising to read that there is a lack of communication skills teaching currently within medical school curricula.

Despite communication skills being a key competency of the proficient clinician, the authors report they are not formally taught during medical school. Our review of the literature has yielded contrasting results. We found a breadth of research indicating that communication skills teaching is both widely incorporated in medical school curricula and also has a well-established evidence base.[2],[3]

However, there is little to indicate that this type of training occurs beyond medical school. The authors of the current study acknowledge this issue and therefore propose their model of communication skills teaching for postgraduate trainees. Although the model is proven effective for the observed cohort, they conclude that it should be incorporated into undergraduate medical curricula. While we agree that communication skills should play an important role in medical school, we are uncertain whether the results of this study can support the model being incorporated into undergraduate education. Moreover, the authors do not explain why this teaching is unsuitable for postgraduate students, despite demonstrating such high satisfaction rates. In fact, many argue that ongoing communications teaching and consolidation of learning is essential to postgraduate training.[4] This is especially important as both students and residents only retain the learnt skills for around two years following didactic teaching.[5]

To summarize, it is our view that there is currently sufficient teaching of communications skills in medical schools. However, we agree with Bhagat et al. that further development of communication skills teaching for postgraduate students is also required.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Bhagat PR, Prajapati KM, Bhatt RB, Prajapati VK, Dureja R, Tank GP, et al. Development and introduction of a communication skills module for postgraduate students of ophthalmology. Indian J Ophthalmol 2019;67:1810-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
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2.
Von Fragstein M, Silverman J, Cushing A, Quilligan S, Salisbury H, Wiskin C. UK consensus statement on the content of communication curricula in undergraduate medical education. Med Educ 2008;42:1100-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Junod Perron N, Klöckner Cronauer C, Hautz SC, Schnabel KP, Breckwoldt J, Monti M, et al. How do Swiss medical schools prepare their students to become good communicators in their future professional careers: A questionnaire and interview study involving medical graduates, teachers and curriculum coordinators. BMC Med Educ 2018;18:285.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Hyde S, Hannigan A, Dornan T, McGrath D. Medical school clinical placements-the optimal method for assessing the clinical educational environment from a graduate entry perspective. BMC MedEduc 2018;18:7.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Oh J, Segal R, Gordon J, Boal J, Jotkowitz A. Retention and use of patient-centered interviewing skills after intensive training. Acad Med 2001;76:647-50.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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