A prominent piece of the curriculum, throughout all phases students focus on communication with patients, families, colleagues, and other health professionals as an essential skill for medical practice. The Interpersonal and Communication Skills thread includes written, oral and electronic communication skills focused on advanced history taking, shared decision making, motivational interviewing, breaking bad news, difficult patient conversations, and health literacy.

Thread director: Scott Mead, MD

Phase 1

  • Basic patient-centered communication skills
  • Health literacy
  • Sexual assault
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Decision making capacity
  • Shared decision-making
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Relationship building and empathy skills
  • Inclusive sexual history
  • Informed consent
  • Use of an interpreter
  • SOAP notes
  • Oral case presentations

Phase 2

  • Child abuse, intimate partner violence and elder abuse
  • Decision making capacity
  • Advance care planning
  • Palliative care communication skills
  • Prescription writing
  • Promoting adherence
  • Use of an interpreter
  • Substance abuse disorder screening
  • Disclosure of unanticipated outcomes
  • Breaking bad news
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Difficult patient encounters
  • Informed consent
  • Clinical documentation
  • Oral case presentation