The communication skills course is taught principally in Year 4. It comprises small-group sessions involving actors and role-play, supervised by GP tutors. The main role of the tutor is to act as facilitator, giving feedback to students and encouraging constructive contributions from the group. Each session has a different theme:
- Listening Skills and Patient-Centred Consulting
- Explanation and Shared Decision Making
- Breaking Bad News
- Angry and Aggressive patients
- Talking about Sex
- Communication and diversity
There is also a session in Year 5, run jointly with the Psychiatry Department. This is about the communication skills required to deal effectively with mental health presentations such as acute psychosis and personality disorder.