Simulated encounters present communication challenges that elicit learners’ ability to communicate effectively with patients, families and colleagues.

Professional actors provide realistic reactions such as grief and anger so that learners are able to experience first hand some of the more difficult communication tasks they will encounter in practice.

Sample projects focusing on communication skills include:

Communication Workshops

Groups of up to 15 students and a faculty preceptor interact with an SP portraying a difficult communication challenge, allowing students to practice interviewing skills such as taking a sexual history or addressing domestic violence.

Communication Skills Assessment

Residents in family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, OB/GYN, pediatrics and surgery encounter SPs in six one-on-one communication scenarios such as giving bad news, obtaining informed consent and discussing a medical error. An individual debriefing with the patient takes place immediately after each encounter.