Improvisational exercises to improve pharmacy students' professional communication skills

Am J Pharm Educ. 2009 Apr 7;73(2):35. doi: 10.5688/aj730235.


Objective: To create and implement improvisational exercises to improve first-year pharmacy students' communication skills.

Design: Twelve 1-hour improvisational sessions were developed and added to an existing/established patient communication course to improve 3 basic skills: listening, observing and responding. Standardized patient examinations were used to evaluate student communication skills, and course evaluations and reflective journaling were used to evaluate students' perceptions of the improvisational exercises.

Assessment: The improvisational exercises markedly improved the students' performance in several aspects of standardized patient examination. Additionally, course evaluations and student comments reflected their perception that the improvisational exercises significantly improved their communication skills.

Summary: Improvisational exercises are an effective way to teach communication skills to pharmacy students.

Keywords: communication; improvisation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Communication*
  • Curriculum / standards
  • Education, Pharmacy / methods*
  • Education, Pharmacy / standards
  • Humans
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Students, Pharmacy*