, Volume 22, Issue 12, pp 1718-1724
Date: 20 Oct 2007

Teaching the Medical Interview: Methods and Key Learning Issues in a Faculty Development Course

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To describe the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare’s (AACH) Faculty Development Course on Teaching the Medical Interview and report a single year’s outcomes.


We delivered a Faculty Development course on Teaching the Medical Interview whose theme was relationship-centered care to a national and international audience in 1999. Participants completed a retrospective pre-post assessment of their perceived confidence in performing interview, clinical, teaching, and self-awareness skills.


A total of 79 participants in the 17th annual AACH national faculty development course at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in June 1999.


A 5-day course utilized the principles of learner-centered learning to teach a national and international cohort of medical school faculty about teaching the medical interview.


The course fostered individualized, self-directed learning for participants, under the guidance of AACH faculty. Teaching methods included a plenary session, small groups, workshops, and project groups all designed to aid in the achievement of individual learning goals. Course outcomes of retrospective self-assessed confidence in interview, clinical, teaching, self-awareness, and control variables were measured using a 7-point Likert scale. Participants reported improved confidence in interview, clinical, teaching, and self-awareness variables. After controlling for desirability bias as measured by control variables, only teaching and self-awareness mean change scores were statistically significant (p < .001).


The AACH Faculty Development course on Teaching the Medical Interview utilized learner-centered teaching methods important to insure learning with experienced course participants. Perceived teaching and self-awareness skills changed the most when compared to other skills.

This study was presented in part at the 23rd annual meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine, Boston, MA, May, 2000.