Effective Communication: The Key to Happy Doctor-Patient Relationships

Jasmine Soo

Organised by the SMA Centre for Medical Ethics and Professionalism, the Communication Course was held on 27 July 2019 (Saturday) at Camden Medical Centre. It was attended by 23 professionals from a wide range of specialties from both the public and private sectors, including general practice, neurosurgery, haematology, paediatrics, patient service department and more.

Effective communication goes beyond just an exchange of information. When done properly, communication fosters understanding, strengthens relationships and builds trust among people. Very often, complaints from patients and the arguments, tension or misunderstandings between doctors and patients arise due to the breakdown of communication. Learning the right communication techniques will help to reduce the risk of patients' complaints and workplace stress.

This course provided participants with the techniques and skills helpful in improving their communication process with patients and patients' families, which can also be applied in their daily work in clinics and/or hospitals. Roleplay sessions were also part of the curriculum, allowing participants to practise the skills taught during the course. It also served as a platform for participants to share with one another the issues they have faced in their own workplaces.

We would like to thank our speakers – Dr Habeebul Rahman, Dr Lambert Low, Dr Syed Harun and Dr Liew Jun Wen – for taking time to conduct this course and share their expertise with our participants. We also thank Camden Medical Centre for the sumptuous lunch and comfortable venue, making the smooth execution of this event possible.