Course description Communication skills

Course title
Communication skills for effective doctor-patient relationship
Target audience
All postgraduate physicians

Medical students starting from 4th year medical school onwards

Basic information
For doctors who wish to attend the 2-day course version
Tutorial: 8 hours             Practical:    2 Hours         Total:    10 Hours
For doctors who wish to attend the 1-day course version
Tutorial:  3.5  hours        Practical 30 min               Total:    4 Hours
Course provider
Prof. Hatem Hamdi Eleishi, MD
Overall aims of course
The overall aim of the module is to acquire the basic skills needed for physicians to communicate effectively and empathetically with their patients.
Intended learning objectives (ILOs)
By the end of the course, the candidates should be able to:

Identify that effective communication skills are no less important than medical and technical abilities in the field of medicine.

  • Identify the current defects in the doctor-patient relationship in the Middle Eastern culture
  • Appreciate that physicians have an ethical responsibility to always provide patients and the public with comprehensive high quality care and medical treatment under an umbrella of empathic communication.
  • Apply the art of listening to patients
  • Deal with disagreements between doctors and patients in issues related to diagnosis and treatment
  • Manage patients’ emotions as anger, fear and sadness
  • Deliver bad news in a therapeutic way
  • Deal with patients’ gifts and admiration in ways that would not jeopardize the doctor-patient relationship or the true mission of being a doctor
  • Respect patients’ time, culture
  • Recognize the meaning of illness to patients
Curriculum of the full course

What is communication? What are its goals?

Importance of communication skills for doctors

The current state of doctor-patient relationship in our culture

Common doctors’ attitudes to ads about such courses

Reasons why doctors’ skills at communicating with patients are poor

Important things before seeing the patient

Dress code

Appointment systems and patient waiting times

Your secretary or front desk

Smoothness of operations at the clinic/hospital

How you enter your clinic

The arranged setting for the patient interview

Ensuring privacy

Controlling interruptions

Seat arrangement

Distance between the interviewer and the patient

Special considerations for a patient in a hospital bed

The very beginning of the meeting with the patient

Warm greeting

Identify the people in the room

Identify the person, not the case/diagnosis

Before the body of the interview starts

General tips throughout the interview

Eye contact is important

The use of humor

When referring to patients

When addressing a patient

The body of the interview

Describe the process by which you work
Clarify the patient’s list of problems

Asking questions

Learn to listen and listen to learn
Ensuring precise understanding of the patient’s information
About Patient Education

Understanding nonverbal communication
Understanding the meaning of illness to the patient

Taking a sexual history

Communication with a patient’s family

Ethical issues that matter

What if you don’t know and cannot know the diagnosis
A patient comes to your specialty by mistake

Special skills

Choosing the right words for reassuring patients
Addressing disagreements about diagnosis or therapy
What if the patient does not really trust the doctor
Always retain the role of a doctor, not friend or business partner
Dealing with Patient’s anger
Dealing with Patient’s sadness and Fear
The art of giving bad news
Manage your patient’s compliance with treatment
Patients who come to your clinic with long written lists of symptoms
The Patient’s Companion
The Patient who reads a lot on the internet

Teaching  methods
 Interactive Power Point presentations for all topics.

Interactive group discussions.

Exercises where participants play roles of patients and doctors

Course handouts

Facilities required for teaching
Lecture halls

Small group classes

Information technology / AV aids

Assessment methods

Attendance criteria

The Student needs to attend 80% of the course

Assessment tools

Active participation and interaction during the session

Active participation in acting sessions and exercises


A passing score in an end-of-course MCQ exam

End of course exam

About the course provider
Dr. Hatem Eleishi is a professor of rheumatology at Cairo University (Egypt) and deputy manager of the Continuous Medical Education Center at Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University. Eleishi graduated from Cairo University in 1990 where he then had his Masters (1994) and MD degrees (1998). He was also ECFMG certified from Philadelphia, USA in 1993.

He also has special interest in the field of medical education and personal development especially for doctors. He acquired a diploma in Medical Education from Cairo University in 2017. He is also a certified NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) practitioner from the United Kingdom (2010). His YouTube channel (named: Hatem Eleishi) is a collection of lectures for doctor, patient and public education.

Eleishi is also the author of several literary writings the most known of which is his novel “Tikitian Imprints” that was published in the United States by Goose River Press in 2007.