Home page of The Scottish Doctor comment on the SDMEG

Scottish Doctors 2

Mapping view

Scottish Doctors 3

Learning Outcomes for Communication

Level 1 - What the doctor is able to do

Level 2 - Outcomes for Communicationlink to Tomorrows doctorslink to Tomorrows doctors

Good communication underpins all aspects of the practice of medicine. All new graduates must be able to demonstrate effective communication skills in all areas and in all media e.g. orally, in writing, electronically, by telephone etc.

Level 3

This could include: Level 4

General principles of good communicationlink to Tomorrows doctorslink to Tomorrows doctorslink to Tomorrows doctorslink to Tomorrows doctorslink to Tomorrows doctors

Being able to listen and use other appropriate communication techniques including an appreciation of non-verbal communication / body language (one’s own and the interviewee’s).

Gathering and giving information with good record keeping and correspondence skills.

Mediating, negotiating and dealing with complaints.link to Tomorrows doctors

Making oral presentations and writing reports / papers.

Telephone usage

Taking into account the age and mental ability of the patient / relative.

Taking into account religious / spiritual beliefs that may affect a consultation.

Recognising when communication is unsuccessful and another strategy e.g. use of an interpreter, is requiredlink to Tomorrows doctors

Communicating with patients / relativeslink to Tomorrows doctorslink to Tomorrows doctorslink to Tomorrows doctorslink to Tomorrows doctors

Answering questions and giving explanations and/or instructions.

Strategies for dealing with the "difficult" consultation including defusing aggression, breaking bad news and admitting lack of knowledge or mistakes.link to Tomorrows doctors

Making requests e.g. post-mortem, organ donation.

Obtaining informed consent.


Educating patients and facilitating self-management of illness

Communicating with colleagueslink to Tomorrows doctors

Transfer of information orally, in writing and electronically.

The "art" of the good discharge summary and patient referrals.

Providing all necessary clinical information on request forms to laboratory-based colleagues.

Communicating with Police and Procurator Fiscal/Coronerlink to Tomorrows doctors

Under what circumstances there is a legal obligation to contact such authorities.

Proper procedure when such communication is necessary and how to relay appropriate information without breaking rules of confidentiality.

Providing evidence in court

Communicating with media and presslink to Tomorrows doctors

A clear understanding of who should give information to the media and press and what form it should take including the need to maintain confidentiality where individual patients are concerned.

Communicating as a teacherlink to Tomorrows doctorslink to Tomorrows doctors

Recognising the importance of sticking to what you know, knowing your own limitations and admitting when you don’t know.

Some basic teaching techniques e.g. demonstrating practical procedures, using various teaching aids, etc.

Preparation of content for electronic presentation

Communicating as a patient advocatelink to Tomorrows doctors

How to recognise when this is appropriate and how it may be accomplished effectively.

Specific Issues

Recommended methods of assessment include:
Short cases

Other less reliable or valid methods are:
Case histories

Potential new methods of assessment include:
Structured viva
Linked OSCE and EMI questions in alternate stations
Linked OSCE stations