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Four core communication skills of highly effective practitioners

by Jane R. Shaw
Veterinary Clinics of North America - Small Animal Practice ()
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For 40 years, medical researchers have been studying physician-patient interactions, and the results of these studies have yielded three basic conclusions: Physician-patient interactions have an impact on patient health, patient and physician satisfaction, adherence to medical recommendations, and malpractice risk; communication is a core clinical skill and an essential component of clinical competence [8]; and appropriate training programs can significantly change practitioners' communication knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Many of these findings are applicable to the practice of veterinary medicine. Although research on veterinarian-client-patient communication is lacking in veterinary medicine, we accept that the trust and rapport that results from a healthy veterinarian-client-patient relationship has the potential to motivate clients to make appointments, show up on time, consent to treatment, follow recommendations, pay their bills on time, and refer other people [35]. The end result is personal and professional success resulting from healthy long-term veterinarian-clientpatient interactions. It is clear that a focus on interpersonal interactions in veterinary medicine is essential to the ongoing evolution of the profession. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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