Teaching interviewing skills by encountering patients

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Abstract

First-year psychiatric residents were observed to lack many interviewing skills considered to be necessary for both physicians and psychiatrists. A method of teaching the skills in a group setting with live patients was constructed. The essential feature of the method is the total direction of attention to the process of interviewing as opposed to the content of the interview. Segments of videotaped interviews of the residents taken before and after the seminar series were rated by examiners who did not know the residents. In addition, participants reported a number of features about this seminar which helped them to improve their interviewing skills. The research results supported the self-report changes, demonstrating that each resident improved on the qualities measured as empathy, congruence, and level of regard.

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