Seminar Details


Assessing 'performances' in GP consultations: cultural and linguistic factors in the GP licensing exam

Thursday 5th July 2012
1pm - 2pm (12.45 for sandwiches)
Seminar Room 1
PCPH, Upper 3rd Floor, UCL (Royal Free Campus)
Speaker: Celia Roberts and Sarah Atkins, King’s College London

The ability to empathise is now seen as a core part of GPs’ effective communication in the patient-centred consultation model (e.g. Kurtz and Silverman 1996, Silverman et al. 2005). The importance placed on this as a criterion for General Practice is reflected in the current assessment format for the Royal College of GP’s (RCGP) licensing exam, the ‘Clinical Skills Assessment’. Here GP candidates are assessed on how they deal with 13 individual patient cases played by actors, where ‘Interpersonal Skills’, such as showing sensitivity to the actor-patient, are given equal weight to ‘Clinical Management’ and ‘Data Gathering’. But what do we mean by empathy in this particular context of ‘performed’ professional interactions? Building on a current project with the RCGP that looks at cultural and communicative issues behind some of the problematic pass rates for the exam, this short paper will address the communication of empathy by these GP exam candidates, with many assessed by examiners as formulaic or awkward in their delivery. We will also look at the performance of professional empathy in the day-to-day encounters of a real GP surgery in attempting to better understand whether the exam format itself poses unique contextual considerations.

Page last modified on 27 jun 12 15:17 by Maryanne Ogbogbo