A tool to teach communication skills to pharmacy students

Am J Pharm Educ. 2008 Jun 15;72(3):67. doi: 10.5688/aj720367.


Objective: To develop a tool to teach pharmacy students assertive communication skills to use when talking with physicians over the telephone.

Design: As an assignment for their Communication Skills and Counseling course, students were asked to write a script involving a patient care issue or problem covering 3 different communication styles that could be used when contacting a prescriber by telephone: passive, aggressive, and assertive. Students worked in groups to write and act out the scripts for the class.

Assessment: Eight scripts were developed by students and rated by peers and faculty members. The script that received the highest ratings was used in the development of a multimedia educational CD.

Conclusion: The development of hypothetical scripts describing a drug therapy problem and illustrating the types of interactions between physicians and pharmacists while discussing the problem allowed pharmacy students to explore different communication techniques and improve their communication skills.

Keywords: communication; physician.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression
  • Assertiveness
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Communication*
  • Compact Disks
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Female
  • Group Processes
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Multimedia
  • Physicians* / psychology
  • Program Development
  • Students, Pharmacy* / psychology
  • Teaching / methods
  • Telephone*