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1.  Relationship Express: A Pilot Program to Teach Anesthesiology Residents Communication Skills 
Background
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education requires residency programs to teach 6 core competencies and to provide evidence of effective standardized training through objective measures. George Washington University's Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine implemented a pilot program to address the interpersonal and communication skill competency. In this program, we aimed to pilot the Relationship Express model, a series of exercises in experiential learning to teach anesthesiology residents to build effective relationships with patients in time-limited circumstances. The purpose of this paper is to describe the application of this model for anesthesiology training.
Methods
A total of 7 first-year clinical anesthesiology residents participated in this pilot study, and 4 residents completed the entire program for analysis purposes. Relationship Express was presented in three 1.5-hour sessions: (1) introduction followed by 2-case, standardized patient pretest with feedback to residents from faculty observers; (2) interpersonal and communication skills didactic workshop with video behavior modeling; and (3) review discussion followed by 2-case, standardized patient posttest and evaluation.
Results
Modified Brookfield comments revealed the following themes: (1) time constraints were realistic compared with clinical practice; (2) admitting errors with patients was difficult; (3) patients were more aware of body language than anticipated; (4) residents liked the group discussions and the video interview; (5) standardized patients were convincing; and (6) residents found the feedback from faculty and standardized patients helpful.
Conclusions
Resident retrospective self-assessment and learning comments confirm the potential value of the Relationship Express model. This program will require further assessment and refinement with a larger number of residents.
doi:10.4300/JGME-D-10-00012.1
PMCID: PMC3010947  PMID: 22132285

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