Staff, Department of Preventative Medicine
I began teaching communication skills when the Lerner College of Medicine opened in 2004, teaching 1st and 2nd year medical students in small group sessions and with individual medical students in a longitudinal clinical setting. At that point, teaching communication skills reinforced how I apply those skills in a clinical setting. I took one of the early sessions of the Staff Physician communication skills course in early 2012, and was instantly excited to see these skills being shared with staff, so they could realize how much the field has developed in the years since their medical school training. In this relationship-based model, we emphasize that our interaction with patients should not lead to a 1 vs 1, with the 2 participants vying for what they want or protecting their own power, but rather to develop a relationship so they can be on the same side of solving a problem, opening up the possible causes, and looking at the options and approaches to the problem on a common ground, rather than a possible conflict of a paternalistic relationship. I have now consistently used this approach with each of my patients, creating a more efficient and much more satisfying interaction and result from the patient’s perspective and mine, and more importantly from our perspective together.
← Steven Feinleib, MD