Author Credentials

Dilip Nair MD Adrienne Mays MD Mohit Harsh MD


patient communication, teach back method, residency education


Family Medicine | Medical Education | Medical Humanities


Physician-patient communication skills are important for physicians to acquire. Teaching skills is thought to require attendance by learners but this is difficult in graduate medical education settings. We asked if an educational intervention on physician-patient communication was associated with a "spill-over" effect to non-attendees in the same family medicine residency program.

We surveyed residents regarding communicating instructions to patients before the intervention and one month later, regardless of their attendance. Residents’ assessment of their patients’ understanding increased significantly post-intervention only if non-attendees were included.

This pilot study suggests a beneficial “spill-over” effect to non-attendee residents that warrants further study.