Check out the link below to see an early release from our Spring 2023 issue.
Introduction: This study aims to assess the impact of various teaching methods including role play, didactic lectures, and case studies on the history taking and communication skills of second year Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) students. The goal is to help students become better doctors by arriving at diagnoses quicker through asking relevant questions in their history taking. A secondary goal is to improve the doctor-patient relationship through better communication skills.
Methods: The students were assessed on their history taking and communication skills before and after the application of specific teaching methods. The teaching methods were chosen according to efficacy and impact as shown by other research articles, in addition to the convenience of applying them to our study and the curriculum of similar schools. The improvement was scored by the faculty at KEM Hospital in Mumbai, India, where the study was conducted, using a checklist which includes the main aspects of communication and general history taking. We tested the students on their communication skills, completeness of their history taking with regards to history of the presenting illness, history of past illnesses, personal history, family history, and mental status report. The results of the pre- and post- intervention scores were analyzed using paired t-tests.
Results: Fifteen students were assessed in this study. The results showed improvement in their mean scores after the teaching methods were applied. Using the student t-test, we statistically analyzed the students pre- and post-intervention. The p-value was found to be statistically significant (<0.05) in communication skills, completeness of their history taking with regards to history of the presenting illness, history of past illnesses, family history, and mental status report. It was found to be non- significant with regards to personal history taking.
Conclusions: The students benefited from the teaching sessions conducted during their surgical rotations. Applying these teaching tools helped students come to diagnoses better through history taking alone. Their communication skills were also found to be significantly improved, which has shown to positively impact physician-patient rapport and treatment compliance. We have concluded that it would be meaningful to incorporate these teaching tools in the curriculum of second year undergraduate students with the goal of making them better physicians in the future.