Communication Skills and the Problem with Fake Patients

By: George Gillett, Fourth Year Medical Student
Submitted by Kathy Herzberger, Loma Linda School of Medicine

George Gillett, who was a fourth year medical student when he wrote this article, expressed an interesting perspective regarding empathy and standardized “fake” patients. Included in this discussion is a suggestion from Anu Atluru, MD that “improv’s fundamental principles of honesty and spontaneity” might be helpful in teaching students how to acknowledge feelings without the rote “I’m sorry to hear that…” The opinions expressed are certainly issues to ponder as we develop future communication curriculum and assessment.

Read the full article in British Medical Journal (BMJ) here

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