Abstract

Teaching primary care residents patient communication skills is essential, complex, and impeded by barriers. We find no models guiding faculty how to train residents in the workplace that integrate necessary system components, the science of physician-patient communication training and competency-based medical education. The aim of this project is to create such a model. We created OPTiCOM using four steps: (1) communication educator interviews, analysis and theme development; (2) initial model construction; (3) model refinement using expert feedback; (4) structured literature review to validate, refine and finalize the model. Our model contains ten interdependent building blocks organized into four developmental tiers. The Foundational value tier has one building block Naming relationship as a core value. The Expertize and resources tier includes four building blocks addressing: Curricular expertize, Curricular content, Leadership, and Time. The four building blocks in the Application and development tier are Observation form, Faculty development, Technology, and Formative assessment. The Language and culture tier identifies the final building block, Culture promoting continuous improvement in teaching communication. OPTiCOM organizes ten interdependent systems building blocks to maximize and sustain resident learning of communication skills. Practice Implications Residency faculty can use OPTiCOM for self-assessment, program creation and revision.

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