v 2003
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Improving Doctor-Patient Communications

Comprehensive training in doctor-patient communications significantly improved the ability of medical students to understand and address patients' needs, according to a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

"We believe this study establishes that the systematic teaching of communication skills is critical to effective and humane healthcare delivery," said Michael Yedidia, Ph.D, of New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the study's senior author. "We're hopeful that our tools for measuring communications competence will be useful to other schools for teaching as well as evaluation purposes."

The study, performed at three medical schools, found that comprehensive communications training had a significant impact on student performance in other areas as well, including working with the patient to devise a mutually agreeable treatment plan, developing and maintaining an effective doctor-patient relationship, and bringing the visit to a meaningful close.

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