Communication teaching and assessment in medical education: an international consensus statement. Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care

Patient Educ Couns. 1999 Jun;37(2):191-5. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(99)00023-3.


The importance of communication between doctors and patients has been well established, and there is growing acceptance of the need to teach and assess communication skills in medical schools. Faculty meeting at a consensus workshop during the International Conference on Teaching Communication in Medicine (Oxford, July 1996) generated a series of recommendations for developing and implementing teaching and assessment programmes. The points were refined in subsequent discussions with other interested groups, and endorsed in their current form by a workshop of teachers attending the Communication in Health Care Conference organized by NIVEL, the Netherlands Institute of Primary Health Care (Amsterdam, June 1998). While focused on medical schools, the eight recommendations highlighted in this consensus statement are also relevant to both graduate and continuing medical education programmes: (1) teaching and assessment should be based on a broad view of communication in medicine; (2) communication skills teaching and clinical teaching should be consistent and complementary; (3) teaching should define, and help students achieve, patient-centred communication tasks; (4) communication teaching and assessment should foster personal and professional growth; (5) there should be a planned and coherent framework for communication skills teaching; (6) students' ability to achieve communication tasks should be assessed directly; (7) communication skills teaching and assessment programmes should be evaluated; (8) faculty development should be supported and adequately resourced.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Guideline
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Communication*
  • Curriculum / standards
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards*
  • Faculty, Medical / standards
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • Needs Assessment
  • Patient-Centered Care / standards
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Program Development / standards
  • Teaching / standards*