Applying the Skills Concept to Discourse and Conversation

The Remediation of Performance Defects in Talk-in-Interaction

Authored by: Robert E. Sanders

Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills

Print publication date:  January  2003
Online publication date:  February  2003

Print ISBN: 9780805834178
eBook ISBN: 9781410607133
Adobe ISBN: 9781135664114


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At a recent meeting a colleague and I had with the dean of a medical school, we discussed the school’s “standardized patient” method for giving medical students experience in communicating with patients of particular types—patients with terminal illness, with AIDS, with diabetes, and so forth. In this method, actors are rigorously trained to play the role of the patient after being briefed on the medical issues and symptoms, given specific guidelines and instructions about how to act, and then re-hearsed. Medical school faculty use the standardized patient method to help students learn “communication [interactional] skills” that they will need to work effectively with patients.

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