Excellent physician communication skills (physician-to-patient and patient-to physician) have been found to have a positive impact on patient satisfaction and may positively affect patient health behaviors and health outcomes. Such skills are also essential for accurate, succinct, and clear peer-to-peer (physician to-physician), physician-to-lay-public, and physician-to-media communications. These skills are not innate, however; they must be learned and practiced repeatedly. The Division of Medical Communications was created within the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as an intellectual home for physicians who desire to learn and teach the wide variety of skills needed for effective communication (Drazen J, Shields H, Loscalzo J. Acad Med 2014; 89: 1623-1629).
The mission of the Division of Medical Communications is to enhance accurate, succinct, and clear communication in four different areas:
- Physician to patient and patient to physician
- Peer-to-peer (physician-to-physician)
- Physician to- lay-public
The division’s goals include enhancing the ability of members to:
- Communicate well to patients about their clinical care.
- Communicate well to peers about clinical cases, medical knowledge and the results of academic research.
- Communicate well to the lay–public about medical knowledge and the results of academic pursuits.
- Communicate well to the press and media about important medical information.