Skip to main content

Table 1 Teachers’ and candidates’ perceptions regarding communication skills addressed during the undergraduate curriculum (candidates’ n ranged from 305 to 389; teachers/coordinators n = 16)

From: 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

Topics of the Swiss catalogue of learning objectives Teachers’ perceptions Candidates’ perceptions
Likert 1–5 % Yes Responding
Mean (SD)   
Generally covered topics
 Patient-focused history taking
  − Focused 4.7 (0.5) 94.1 389
  − Reasons 4.8 (0.4) 97.9 384
  − Expectations 4.2 (0.9) 87.4 357
  − Somatic-psychological aspects 4.6 (0.6) 95.9 365
  − Concerns 4.2 (1.0) 88.6 367
  − Socio-cultural background 4.2 (0.7) 84.0 356
  − Illness experience 3.8 (0.9) 78.2 339
Ask patient needs regarding health problems 4.1 (0.9) 73.2 321
Disease-illness concepts 4.0 (1.3) 86.3 342
React to nonverbal cues 4.1 (0.9) 76.2 319
Balance proximity-distance 3.9 (1.1) 62.6 305
Show empathy 4.2 (1.0) 86.8 319
Establish and maintain an empathetic relationship 4.5 (0.5) 74.8 314
Give time to patient 4.8 (0.4) 98.1 371
Active listening 4.8 (0.5) 96.2 366
Collecting information about delicate issues (sexual) 4.1 (1.0) 79.1 358
Obtaining patient consent 3.8 (1.1) 82.5 337
Explaining reasons for investigation, risks, advantages 3.6 (1.0) 82.9 333
Explaining and checking patient understanding 4.3 (0.8) 84.9 325
Breaking bad news 4.1 (0.9) 80.9 330
Counselling skills 3.9 (1.0) 88.4 327
Generally less covered topics
 History taking in absence of patient 2.4 (1.4) 62.6 372
 History taking with special needs patients (dying) 3.3 (1.1) 59.5 346
 Communicating with patients with language problems 1.8 (1.0) 21.2 344
 Communicating with allophone patients 3.0 (1.3) 45.7 352
 Communicating with vulnerable patients 2.9 (1.2) 63.9 341
 Phone conversation 2.5 (1.6) 53.5 368
 Document information 2.5 (1.2) 39.9 326
 Shared decision making 3.3 (1.3) 66.6 323
 Use of visual support 2.2 (0.9) 49.2 309
 Managing unsatisfied or unhappy patients/families 2.4 (1.3) 43.3 321
 Interprofessional communication 2.4 (0.9) 48.7 318
 Presentation skills 3.4 (1.1) 62.2 315