A Programme of Interview Training for Medical Students

  • D. R. Rutter
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 11)


For some years, there has been widespread concern that doctors and patients often fail to communicate (British Medical Journal editorial, 5 June, 1976). Much of a doctor’s work consists of gathering information from patients, yet a growing body of evidence suggests that traditional methods of clinical training are failing even to equip medical students with the basic skills of interviewing (Maguire & Rutter, 1976a). The purpose of this paper is first to present some evidence of our own, and then to report an attempt to develop and evaluate a simple training programme. The research was conducted by myself and Dr. Peter Maguire while we were both in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, and the findings have previously been reported in Maguire & Rutter (1976a, b) and Rutter & Maguire (1976).


Medical Student Previous Episode Traditional Training Untrained Group Senior Medical Student 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Goldberg, D. P. and Blackwell, B., 1970, Psychiatric illness in general practice: a detailed study using a new method of case identification, Br.Med.J., 2:439–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Helfer, R. E., 1970, An objective comparison of the paediatric interviewing skills of freshmen and senior medical students, Paediat., 45:623–627.Google Scholar
  3. Korsch, B. M., Gozzi, E. K. and Francis, V., 1968, Gaps in doctorpatient communications. I. Doctor-patient interaction and patient satisfaction, Paediat., 42:855–871.Google Scholar
  4. MacNamara, M., 1974, Talking with patients: some problems met by medical students. Br.J.Med.Educ., 8:17–23.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Maguire, G. P., 1976, Psychological and social sequelae of mastectomy, in: “Modern Perspectives in Psychiatric Aspects of Surgery”, J. Howells, ed., Bruner-Mazel, New York.Google Scholar
  6. Maguire, G. P., Clarke, D. and Jolley, B., 1977, An experimental comparison of three courses in history-taking skills for medical students., Med.Educ., 11:175–182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Maguire, G. P., Julier, D. L., Hawton, K. E. and Bancroft, J. H. J., 1974, Psychiatric morbidity and referral on two general medical wards, Br.Med.J., 1974i:268-270.Google Scholar
  8. Maguire, G. P., Roe, P., Goldberg, D. P., Jones, S., Hyde, C. and O’Dowd, T., 1978, The value of feedback in teaching interviewing skills to medical students, Psych.Med., 8:695–704.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Maguire, G. P. and Rutter, D. R., 1976a Training medical students to communicate, in: “Communication between Doctors and Patients”, A. E. Bennett, ed., Oxford University Press, London.Google Scholar
  10. Maguire, G. P. and Rutter, D. R., 1976b, History-taking for medical students. I. Deficiencies in performance, Lancet, 1976ii: 556–558.Google Scholar
  11. Rutter, D. R. and Maguire, G. P., 1976, History-taking for medical students. II. Evaluation of a training programme, Lancet, 1976ii: 558–560.Google Scholar
  12. Siegel, S., 1956, “Non-parametric Statistics”, McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. R. Rutter
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Psychology Research UnitUniversity of Kent at CanterburyCanterbury, KentEngland

Personalised recommendations