Do Doctors/Medical Practitioners need training on communication?

Few weeks ago, I traveled to a city in Nigeria to visit a friend who just completed medical school successfully. I will call him John (not his real name) . Also, one of our classmates back then in secondary school ( highschool) came to Nigeria for a visit and we all met. He is about completing his medical school in the UK and I will refer to him as Kelvin (not his real name)

We all sat down together, shared our memories and discussed on some issues. John was excited because he just passed his final medical exams knowing fully well the implications of not passing. John and Kelvin talked in medical terms and I was a bit lost since I studied engineering. What caught my attention from their discussion was an exam called “OSCE” (Objectively Structured Clinical Exams) I hope I got it right. The point of interest for me, was in how these exams were scored from John’s school in Nigeria and also from Kelvin’s school in the UK.

kelvin pointed out that, in his school in the UK, they were scored on various parameters and how well they communicated with the patient by showing empathy during OSCE . Also, he said patients were given opportunities to rate medical students on how well they showed empathy or courtesy. He also said, that this part took more marks and it’s taken seriously.

I told John and Kelvin that I know how some doctors can be towards patients in Nigeria. You hear things like “madam, you no go push that baby” meaning a doctor saying angrily to a woman in labour “madam, better push your baby” or “your Pikin go die, shey you no wan listen ” meaning ” your child will die since you don’t want to listen” Some of these words are harsh on the patients who are in a critical condition. John who studied in Nigeria also confirmed this fact to me. Nevertheless, not all Doctors in Nigeria behave this way. In fact, Nigerian Doctors have the expertise to make diagnosis without medical equipments.

So i said to myself, do Nigerian Doctors need training on communication or should medical students be scored on communication just like Kelvin’s school in the UK?

Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Kindly recommend this article. I also published it on my blog

Entrepreneur l Christian l Blue Sky Thinker labifrancis.com. @labifrancis

Entrepreneur l Christian l Blue Sky Thinker labifrancis.com. @labifrancis