Communication and medicine: developing skills.


  1. Ana Laura Schliemann
  2. Sergio Zaidhaft


8AA Communication skills


PUC/SP - Departamento de Psicologia do Desenvolvimento - Faculdade de Medicina (Sorocaba) - Brazil
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro - Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho, - Rio de Janeiro - Brazil





Discussing  communication is key to the learning of medical students and therefore the  motivation  to carry out  this work. Communication is a fundamental work tool for  the health professional, once  it favors the use of strategies  that can  influence the decision in the adhesion of a treatment. It is a skill that require study and training.

Summary of Work

The objective was to evaluate the students on the conditions of the application of knowledge, and to develop communication strategies.

  • Students enrolled in the first year of medicine of 2014;
  • Subjects: 110 students the first year of the course;
  • Focus: communication skills in health;
  • Worked skills: empathy, comprehensive listening, observation and reflection about the performed health care;
  • Annual subject with activities divided into two modules : 

1.    Group activities: discussion about the movies (Gifted Hands, Good Will Hunting, The Doctor), creation of a Wiki, a visit to a elderly's home;

2.    In a group of 10 students: anamneses training; human development; non-verbal communication; pediatric nurse care and discussion about the cases.

Summary of Results


About 90% of the students answered all the activities developed during the course. Each activity was carried out via online survey evaluating the activity, potential for learning, and student satisfaction with it.

The majority of students reported that in relation to the:

a) Course Content, there was an increase in the knowledge about communication skills, especially in non-verbal communication and patient approach;

b) Course Format, the developed method for the course was interactive, enjoyable, and effective learning.


  • There was a great activity adhesion;

  • The students preferred practical activities to the empirical ones;

  • There was a development in the abilities of verbal and non-verbal communication with the patient and his/her family;

  • The students asked for more activities in this line of learning;

  • The students discovered about communication topics that they did not know, e.g., non-verbal communication and different approach strategies and persuasion of patients.                 


The format of the course and the choices of activities favored and pleased the students and reached the expected goal.

However it is important to note :

  • There is a need to increase the number of activities, to work communication skills - especially with teenagers and adults;

  • Increase the range of topics to be worked with such as bad news, sex change surgeries, shared diagnostics, among others;

  • There is a need of more professors that develop this kind of activity;

This study resulted in an elective subject entilted: "How to give bad news", which will use the Spykes protocol, the theory of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, and practive and the sector of hemodyalisis and endrocrine.

Take-home Messages

It is important to find new ways to learn and teach about human skills and competences such as communication, ethics and care for the sick and their families.

For instance, we can think of practical laboratories that promote the development of controlled actions such as role playing and simulations; activities in several health institutions with healthy or unhealthy people; discussion of films that deal with emotions and common situations to people.


This research was supported by Brasil-FAIMER Regional Institute and PUC-SP. 




ARAÚJO, M.M.T.; SILVA, M.J.P. Estratégias de comunicação utilizadas por profissionais de saúde na atenção à pacientes sob cuidados paliativos. RevEscEnferm USP. 2012; 46(3):626-32

BARDIN, L. Análise de conteúdo. Lisboa: Edições 70, 1977.

BENEVIDES, R; PASSOS, E. Humanização na saúde: um novo modismo? Interface – Comunicação, Saúde, Educação. São Paulo: UNESP, v.9, n.17, p.389-394, mar/ago 2005.

CERON, M.- Habilidades de Comunicação: Abordagem centrada na pessoa. Cartilha de especialização em saúde da família, pag 21 – 40 s/d

ROSSI, P. S.; BATISTA, N. A. The teaching of communication skills in medical schools - an approach. Interface - Comunic., Saúde, Educ., v.10, n.19, p.93-102, jan/jun 2006.

SUCUPIRA, A.C. A importância do ensino da relação médico-paciente e das habilidades de comunicação na formação do profissional de saúde. Interface – Comunic., Saude, Educ., v.11, n.23, p.624-7, 2007

TURINI, B, et al. Communication skills in medical teaching:structure, experience and challenges in new medical curricula. REVISTA BRASILEIRA DE EDUCAÇÃO MÉDICA. 32 (2) : 264 – 270 : 2008


Summary of Work
Summary of Results
Take-home Messages
Send ePoster Link