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Comparative Study
, 90 (3 Pt 2), 1145-50

Measurement of Nonverbal Receptive Abilities in Medical Students

Comparative Study

Measurement of Nonverbal Receptive Abilities in Medical Students

A J Giannini et al. Percept Mot Skills.


Physicians have been reported to have difficulty in communicating with their patients. An element of this communication gap is proposed be related to the educational curriculum and the selection process of medical schools, in particular, with the emphasis on scientific methodology reducing exposure to humanistic values. This hypothesis was tested by measuring nonverbal receptive abilities in two groups. 30 medical students were compared with 30 college students who were not science majors but were age-, sex- and race-matched. The nonscience majors were better at perceiving nonverbal cues than medical students. Male nonscience majors had higher scores than male medical students while similar results were seen when female nonscience majors were compared with female medical students. Finally, medical students planning to practice as primary care specialists had higher scores than those interested in specialties which do not involve direct or prolonged patient care.

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