Interdisciplinary collaboration for clinical skills acquisition in the transition to ward-based learning

Andrea Paul, Kara Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Internationalization of higher education affects strategies accommodating different learning styles and the provision of communication and learning support to students.
This paper describes clinical communication skills training initiatives developed by linguists in collaboration with clinicians for undergraduate medical students on their first clinical placement. This approach deconstructs the language, underlying behavioural factors, argumentation and interactional features of professional tasks, serving several pedagogical purposes: learning needs analysis; deconstruction of tutor modelling; and concrete strategies to improve learner performance. Communication frameworks and their application are described with two illustrative cases. Three years of evaluation data determined impacts on students and tutors. Students report increased confidence in communication, capacity to practice clinical skills independently and supported integration of medical knowledge into clinical practice. Co-delivery enriched teaching methodology for tutors. Collaboration between linguists and clinicians provides a useful model for clinical and communication skills teaching in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate clinical and health discipline training contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-119
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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