Doctors at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) published a book to help medical students and postgraduate doctors enhance their ability to communicate with patients and pass their clinical exams.

History Taking and Communication Skill Stations for Internal Medicine ExaminationsThe 290-page book presents 50 detailed scenarios for postgraduate doctors to enhance their ability to put patients at ease, take an accurate and comprehensive patient history, make the correct diagnosis and then communicate the diagnosis and treatment plan to the patient in a reassuring manner.

Dr Rayaz Malik, Dr Wanis H Ibrahim, Dr Mushtaq Ahmed and Dr Muhammad A Waheed, drew on their collective experience as practicing physicians and postgraduate examiners to write the book, titled ‘History Taking and Communication Skill Stations for Internal Medicine Examinations’.

Dr Malik, who is a Professor of Medicine and Consultant Physician at WCM-Q and HMC said that being able to communicate effectively and compassionately with patients are very important skills, that even the very best doctors often struggle with.

We wrote the book to help students and junior doctors develop communication skills that match their excellence as clinicians so that they can reach the very highest standards of patient care. I want to give complete credit to my colleagues – Dr Wanis, Dr Mushtaq and Dr Waheed – for their tremendous work on this project.’

Many highly skilled postgraduate doctors who have proven themselves to be good clinicians often struggle to pass the compulsory history taking and communication skills components of their Arab Board or MRCP exams. This can be particularly problematic for non-native English speakers but also poses significant challenges for native speakers, as conducting a conversation while simultaneously assimilating large amounts of complex information requires a great deal of mental agility. The doctors devised a new, comprehensive seven-step approach to facilitate communication with patients whilst making the consultation more systematic and effective.

According to Dr Ibrahim, Senior Consultant Internist and Pulmonologist at HMC, being able to communicate in a pleasant and reassuring way while reviewing a very complex case is very challenging.

We have developed a novel seven-step approach to make communication between the candidate, patient and examiners easy and effective. We believe this will help doctors of all nationalities and linguistic backgrounds to not only reach the correct diagnosis, but also to communicate clearly and humanely with their patients.’

History Taking and Communication Skill Stations for Internal Medicine Examinations is published by JP Medical Publishers in London and New Delhi, with ISBN number 978-1-909836-99-0.