Developing a communication-skills training curriculum for resident-physicians to enhance patient outcomes at an academic medical centre: An ongoing mixed-methods study protocol

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan; Surgery; General Surgery


Introduction: Effective physician-patient communication is directly linked to enhanced patient safety, improved healthcare quality and health outcomes. Numerous studies have been done to implement and reinforce communication skills as core competencies to be acquired during residency training for providing culturally competent care. Pakistan has an ethnically diverse culture with people from varying diasporas. Hence there is a need to develop a curriculum that teaches cultural competency to residents. Thus, the aim of this study is (1) the identification of existing problems of communication skills among residents across various specialties, and (2) to strategise a communication skills curriculum by organising a conference of experts based on the Delphi method/estimate-talk-estimate method.
Methods and analysis: This study is divided into two phases. The first phase will employ a mixed-methods approach whereby the perceptions of attendings, residents, fellows, nurses, medical students and patients about resident-patient communication will be assessed via validated surveys, focused group discussions and in-depth interviews. Quantitative and qualitative data will be analysed using Stata and NVivo, respectively. The second phase is the development of a communication skills curriculum for residents based on results from phase one and a Delphi consensus involving medical education experts. Both phases will be conducted at a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan.
Ethics and dissemination: This study has received ethical approval from the Ethical Review Committee at the Aga Khan University (2021-6041-17126). All participants will be mandated to provide informed consent and their confidentiality will be maintained by using de-identifiers and limiting access of the data to the research team only. The findings from this study will be presented in the form of original research papers.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

BMJ Open

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License