Sonia Ruiz De Azua


1 Communication Skills for Physicians: Adaptation to the Third Gender and Language Cross Cultural Influences

Authors: Virginia Guillén Cañas, Miren Agurtzane Ortiz-Jauregi, Sonia Ruiz De Azua, Naiara Ozamiz


We want to focus on relationship of the communicational skills in several key aspects of medicine. The most relevant competencies of a health professional are an adequate communication capacity, which will influence the satisfaction of professionals and patients, therapeutic compliance, conflict prevention, clinical outcomes’ improvement and efficiency of health services. We define empathy as it as Sympathy and connection to others and capability to communicate this understanding. Some outcomes favoring empathy are female gender, younger age, and specialty choice. Third gender or third sex is a concept in which allows a person not to be categorized in a dual way but as a continuous variable, giving the choice of moving along it. This point of view recognizes three or more genders. The subject of Ethics and Clinical Communication is dedicated to sensitizing students about the importance and effectiveness of a good therapeutic relationship. We are also interested in other communicational aspects related to empathy as active listening, assertivity and basic and advanced Social Skills. Objectives: 1. To facilitate the approach of the student in the Medicine Degree to the reality of the medical profession 2. Analyze interesting outcome variables in communication 3. Interactive process to detect the areas of improvement in the learning process of the Physician throughout his professional career needs. Design: A comparative study with a cross-sectional approach was conducted in successive academic year cohorts of health professional students at a public Basque university. Four communicational aspects were evaluated through these questionnaires in Basque, Spanish and English: The active listening questionnaire, the TECA empathy questionnaire, the ACDA questionnaire and the EHS questionnaire Social Skills Scale. Types of interventions for improving skills: Interpersonal skills training intervention, Empathy intervention, Writing about experiential learning, Drama through role plays, Communicational skills training, Problem-based learning, Patient interviews ´videos, Empathy-focused training, Discussion. Results: It identified the need for a cross cultural adaptation and no gender distinction. The students enjoyed all the techniques in comparison to the usual master class. There was medium participation but these participative methodologies are not so usual in the university. According to empathy, men have a greater empathic capacity to fully understand women (p < 0.05) With regard to assertiveness there have been no differences between men and women in self-assertiveness but nevertheless women are more heteroassertive than men. Conclusions: These findings suggest that educational interventions with adequate feedback can be effective in maintaining and enhancing empathy in undergraduate medical students.

Keywords: patient satisfaction, physician's communicational skills, third gender, cross cultural adaptation

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