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Dundee FRCS ENT (Otolaryngology) VIVA Course

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Innovation in teaching

NHS Tayside

Top Tip Lectures:

Surgical Procedures:

1. Myringoplasty

2. Stapedectomy


                                                     Communication skills

Dear all,


I hope all of you have got few study partners and practicing viva with your senior colleagues.


lets talk something about communication skills


It is equally important and many of you might think, it is a piece of cake!. Actually it is much more than that. I think you have 20 mins for this station. It is lot. It contains information gathering and delivering. Make sure you develop comprehensive history taking skills. Ceilidh one of our efficient team leader of this course will deliver an excellent talk about communication skills on Friday. You have 2 paid actors as well in our course.


Please watch You tube video for breaking bad news, dealing angry patient, Macmillan video and consenting for ENT procedures.( please see above links)


Some other aspects of communication skills,


how to show empathy, how to deliver information in small pockets, making sure patient understands, sensing body language of the patient, letting the patient talk, using pen and paper to explain with simple diagrams (In my exam, hypopharyngeal cancer patient presented with otalgia, I explained 2 times in different ways about referred otalgia, finally he understood after I drew a simple diagram) and address his/her concerns (My patient wanted to go to Australia to attend her daughters marriage in 4 weeks, he has not seen her daughter for 4 years.)


There is no point in giving all the information to the patient that you know. That is the common mistake. This station is not about testing your knowledge. It is vital to address their concerns. So it is important to ask/tell, do you have any concerns, do you understand, I am happy to organise another appointment, second opinion, please read this leaflet, contact our sec if further concerns.


Try to be honest, try to give one bad news and one good news. For example, even though it is advanced cancer, it has not spread to other part of the body. Even though we can’t cure we have an excellent Macmillan and best cancer supportive team which will help to make your life comfortable.


Start gathering communication skills scenarios form your seniors and understand what is not to be missed ( eg patient with anosmia – not to forget about occupation-I bet he will be a cook wine taster, patient with dizziness- by default he will be a roofer or wants to join in Navy/airforce)


You will receive some information package about venue and timings from college. In that package there is some very valuable information about communication station. Please read it.


I have attached 2012 entmasterclass journal. In this journal you can skip half of chapters which may not be relevant for viva.


Have a nice week.

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