Background: Interpersonal and communication skills are 1 of the 6 core competencies articulated as essential to resident education by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The current study assessed verbal and nonverbal communication skills among surgical residents.
Methods: The communication skills of surgical residents (n = 64) were assessed using the Social Skills Inventory.
Results: The majority of surgical residents demonstrated strong verbal and nonverbal skills, although the equilibrium index scores demonstrated an imbalance in the social skill profile for a minority (17.2%) of residents. Post graduate year was positively related to social expressivity (r = .31, P < .01) and social control (r = .27, P < .01) skills. In some cases, being proficient in one social skill was actually negatively related to another.
Conclusions: The Social Skills Inventory was found to be a useful instrument for the multidimensional assessment of resident communication skills. Areas of strengths and weaknesses were identified and could be used for targeting areas for future educational interventions.