Improving Communication Skills in Orthopedic Residents: Dale Carnegie Experience

dc.contributor.authorWagner, Russell MD
dc.contributor.authorOgunyanki, Fadeke
dc.creatorChambers, Heather
dc.description.abstractBackground: Professionalism and communication skills have often been described as essential to quality patient care. In 1999, the ACGME introduced six areas of residency competency, one of which was communication skills. There have been many different approaches to implementing and improving residents’ communication skills by residency programs since that time. In this study we propose another possible approach for improving Orthopedic surgery residents’ communication skills through the Dale Carnegie Training Course. Methods: Six Orthopedic Surgery residents were randomly selected over a four-year period to attend the Dale Carnegie interpersonal communication skills training course. 360-degree (based on Clinical/Nursing/Admin Staff) and Faculty evaluations were collected for all residents, including those that did not attend the course, before and after the course. The results of the evaluations were then compared using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) statistical test for continuous variables. Regression analysis was also performed to identify independent outcome predictors. P values generated with P Results: There was a statistically significant improvement in the 360-degree evaluations of residents that attended the course as compared with those that did not, p = 0.0015. There was no statistically significant improvement in faculty evaluation scores of residents that attended the course over those that did not, p= 0.1583. However, it appears that some residents that attended improved more than others, p= 0.0097, and perhaps gained more from the experience. Conclusions: Communication skills and professionalism are essential components of quality patient care and should be emphasized during medical education. The Dale Carnegie course could be considered as a possible effective tool for improving residents’ communication skills. Our study revealed a statistically significant improvement in the residents evaluations completed by nursing staff, clinic staff and other departments. This course is a time tested program with expansion to multiple franchises around the world, with consistent and reliable results. It may not be financially reasonable for residency programs to send every resident for this training, however, it might be utilized as an alternative for residents identified as “at risk” or those with noted poor communication skills by their program directors.
dc.titleImproving Communication Skills in Orthopedic Residents: Dale Carnegie Experience