Doctors Must Now Pass Social Skills Tests to Attend Medical School

Have you ever been to a doctor who was a wonderful physician but an unfriendly person? When I had to spend a few days in the hospital last year, my doctor was like this; he had the worst bedside manner.
Luckily, doctors who are lacking proper people skills might soon be trained to behave better with the patients and nurses they work with on a daily basis. Virginia Tech Carilion is one of the first schools in this nation to require candidates to their medical school to go through a people skills test before they can be admitted to the school. Each candidate was required to go through nine brief interviews that evaluated the candidate on his or her social skills and abilities to communicate with others in the health care system.
“We are trying to weed out the students who look great on paper but haven’t developed the people or communication skills we think are important,” said the associate dean of admissions at the school, Dr. Stephen Workman.

The decision to evaluate candidates on more than their GPAs and standardized test scores is based on the value of social skills in a workplace. There have also been several recent studies that show that many preventable deaths could have been avoided if there had been better communication in the workplace. For example, if a doctor is not willing to listen to his patients about their health complaints and is not willing to collaborate with his co-workers on the case, then he is more likely to misdiagnose and mistreat the patients. Although this theoretical doctor would be trained and competent in his field, his lack of proper social skills and a good bedside manner would cause his patients harm.
“Our schools intends to graduate physicians who can communicate with patients and work in a team,” said Dr. Cynda Ann Johnson, Dean of Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
Dr. Darrell G Kirch, president and chief executive of the Association of American Medical Colleges, also places high importance on teamwork and being able to relate to patients:
“When I entered medical school, it was all about being an individual expert,” said Kirch. “Now it’s all about applying that expertise to team-based patient care.”
Via The New York Times
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