Development of Chair-Side Patient-Doctor Communication Skills Through Case-Based Video Simulation

Publication ID Published Volume
9327 January 29, 2013 9


These teaching modules were created for second or third year students. The material overlaps with that presented in the Ethics curriculum. It enhances understanding of issues relevant to Patient Management and Practice Management, as well as incorporation of course materials in Social-Emotional Intelligence. The purpose of the module is to support understanding of chairside communication skills and their integration into student behavior.
Faculty may use the Instructor Guide to outline a lecture as well as a Communications exercise. The lead faculty will introduce relevant speakers who are respected by the students (i.e. Department Chairpersons) who discuss communications issues pertinent to patient care. The students may then view the videotapes which were developed for five distinct patient scenarios:

  1. The patient who is about to become edentulous and wear dentures
    (following the format of the textbook there are bad, good, and great scenarios presented)
  2. A treatment planning discussion
  3. A dentist who has perforated a tooth
  4. A patient who unexpectedly requires endodontics
  5. The patient who wants to date the dentist

Students are instructed to use the Behavioral Checklist to analyze the behavior of the dentist in those situations. The lead speaker finally discusses the reading assignment and completes the Communications exercise, mentioning that these skills can be developed as illustrated by research in customer satisfaction, nursing and medicine as well as dentistry. The lifelong aspect of this learning is emphasized by the speaker as a way to illustrate that the practice of dentistry continually changes as an individual develops his or her professional skills.

Students were surveyed as to their experience in the exercise. Comments were extremely positive about the videos and the lecture portions of the exercise. Group Practice Administrators reported their appreciation of support in the scope of patient management.


Giusti L, Peltier B, Hoover T. Development of chair-side patient-doctor communication skills through case-based video simulation. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2013;9:9327.

Educational Objectives

Objectives for the videos

  1. Provide visual examples of common dentist-patient interactions to support didactic training in communication skills.
  2. Provide case examples for discussion of challenging ethical situations that arise in dental clinics.
  3. Provide prompts and material for discussion.

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will learn basic doctor-patient interaction skills.
  2. Students will examine and evaluate several important ethical challenges faced by dentists.
  3. Students will compare their own interaction style with those of several other dentists and faculty members.


  • Case-Based, Life-Long Learning


  1. Tough Questions, Great Answers: Responding to Patient Concerns about Today's Dentistry. Robin Wright, MA, Chapters 2, 3, and 4.

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ISSN 2374-8265