Font Sizes: A A A

Medical Communication

Name of the course: Behavioral sciences I. (medical communication)

Type of the course:

                 code: AOKMAG398_2A

                 credit: 2 credits


Course director: Dr. József Kovács

Course leader: Dr. János Pilling

Study affairs: Dr. Adrienne Stauder (stauder.adrienne[at]

Secretary:     Jozefa Barreto (secretariat)  barreto.jozefa[at]

Secretariat: NET Building, 20th floor, Room-2015;  Tel: 210-2930/56114, 56501

With any request concerning the course, please first contact Jozefa Barreto, course secretary.

Semester: 2018/19 I.

Course objectives:

Proper communication is essential in effective healing. The aim of the course is to teach communication strategies that can make the doctor’s everyday tasks more effective: how to listen, ask, inform and collaborate with the patient. The subject also contains some recent elements of the doctor-patient relationship, like shared decision making, patient education, and suggestive communication. We emphasize difficult situations in medical practice: communicating bad news, communication with aggressive patients, communicating about sexual problems, and analyzing cultural differences in medical practice.  The main goal of the course is to teach special communication knowledge to medical students that can help them create proper doctor-patient relationship and improve their effectiveness in medical practice.


LECTURES: Week 1-8

Time: Monday 16.00-17.30   

Venue: EOK –Szent-Györgyi lecture hall (1094 Budapest, Tűzoltó utca 37-43 (at Klinikák metro station)

Week 1 (September 10): Introduction. [prezi link] Communication difficulties and possible solutions in the everyday medical practice. [prezi link] (János Kollár )

Week 2. (September 17):  The development of patient-physician collaboration, promote behavior change. (Adrienne Stauder)

Week 3. (September 24):  Suggestive communication in medical practice. (Katalin Varga)

Week 4. (October 1):  The specialties of age in medical communication: communication with ill children (Andrea Békési)

Week 5. (October 8): Communication about functional complaints (Adrienne Stauder )

Week 6. (October 15): Telemedicine. (Mónika Ditta Tóth)

No lecture on week 7!

Week 8. (October 29):

Breaking Bad News [prezi link] (János Kollár)
Disclosing Medical Errors [prezi link] (János Kollár)

SEMINARS:  Week 5-12  (see times, venues and teachers at the bottom)

Week 5. (October 8-12) Seminar. Communication in everyday life and in the medical practice. The role of non-verbal and metacommunicative signs in communication.

Week 6.:  (October 15-19) Seminar. The active listening. Communication aspects in empathy.

No seminar on week 7!

Week 8. (Oct. 29- 31; Nov. 2 Friday seminars on October 26 Friday!): Patient information, patient education.

Week 9. (Nov. 5-9): Seminar. Creating and maintaining compliance.

Week 10. ((Nov. 12-16): Seminar. Communicating bad news (practice). How to recognize communication signs of suicide?

Week 11. (Nov. 19-23):  Seminar. Communication with agitated patients, strategies to prevent violence. Communication about sexual problems.

Week 12. (Nov. 26- 30): Seminar. Cultural aspects in medical communication. Review.

Exam period: December 17, 2018 – February 01, 2019

Participation and making up for absences:

A signature will be given with the prerequisite of participation (minimum 75% of the lectures and 75% of the seminars). Participation list will be recorded at the end of every lecture/seminar. It is possible to make up for ONE absence by participating in another seminar group the same week (only once in a semester, upon agreement with both teachers!).

Justification of the absence in the lectures and examinations: medical certificat

 Checks during the semester (reports, written checks) :  –

Requirements for the signature at the end of the semester:

Regular participation on the lectures and seminars (minimum 75% of the lectures and 75% of the seminars).

Method of the calculation of marks: performance on the oral exam. The Medical Communication Group will organize a competitive examination at the end of the seminar period. Those students who obtain a „good” or an „excellent” grade at this exam, can be exempted from the oral exam,

Type of the exam: oral

Requirements for the exam:

Exam topics:

„A”  list

  1. Basic definitions in communication and their role in medical practice: basic elements, axioms and levels in communication; verbal communication.
  2. The role of non-verbal communication.
  3. The role of active listening and the role of empathy.
  4. The doctor-patient consultation.
  5. Communication issues in patient information.
  6. Patient education and shared decision making.
  7. Convincing strategies in medical practice: learning theories and cognitive models;
  8. Convincing strategies in medical practice: the role of arguments, behavior change model.
  9. The role of suggestive communication in the doctor-patient interactions.

„B” list

  1. Communication with acute patients.
  2. Communication with sick children.
  3. Communication with older patients.
  4. Communication with somatizing patients.
  5. Communication with alcohol- and drug-dependent patients.
  6. Communication about sexual problems.
  7. Communication aspects with patients committing suicide attempt.
  8. Prevention and management of violence
  9. Communicating the diagnosis of incurable disease.
  10. Breaking news of death and congenital disorders.
  11. Telemedicine


Application for the exam: Through the Neptun system.

Changing the application for the exam: Through the Neptun system.

Justification of the absence from the exam:

Course and recommended text books:

Course text book:

János Pilling (ed..): Medical Communication. Medicina Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 2011.

 Recommended text books:

Washer, P. (2009): Clinical Communication Skills. (Oxford Core texts). Oxford University Press.

McCorry, L.K. & Mason, J. (2011): Communication skills for the healthcare professionals. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore

Tamparo, C.D & Lindh, W.Q (2017): Therapeutic communication for health care professionals. Cengage Learning, Boston

Hugman,. B. (2009): Healthcare communication. Pharmaceutical Press, London

Times, venues and teachers of the seminars

group Day Time Room Teacher
1 Tuesday 8.00-9.30 Labor-1. Szalai Tamás
2 Friday 13:00- 14:30 Sz-03. Varga Márta
3 Friday 08:00- 09:30 Sz-03. Varga Márta
4 Friday 11:20- 12:50 Sz-03. Varga Márta
5 Friday 10:05- 11:35 Sz-10. Várnai Evelin
6 Friday 11:45- 13:15 Sz-10. Fóris Nóra
7 Friday 09:40- 11:10 Tűz-szem.6. Fóris Nóra
8 Tuesday 09:50- 11:20 Tűz-szem.6. Ujma Péter
9 Friday 08:00- 09:30 Tűz-szem.6. Fóris Nóra
10 Friday 09:40- 11:10 Sz-03. Varga Márta
11 Monday 10:00- 11:30 Tűz-szem.1 Kollár János
12 Monday 12:25- 13:55 Tűz-szem.6. Tóth Mónika Ditta
13 Monday 11:35- 13:05 Tűz-szem.1 Kollár János
14 Tuesday 11:30- 13:00 Tűz-szem.6. Ujma Péter
15 Monday 14:05-15:35 Tűz-szem.2. Tóth Mónika Ditta

Teachers’ contact

Fóris, Nóra noraforis[at]
Kollár, János janoskollar[at]
Szalai, Tamás Dömötör szalai.domotor[at]
Tóth, Mónika Ditta tmonika85[at]
Ujma, Péter peteru88[at]
Varga, Márta vmarta104[at]
Várnai, Evelin varnai.evelin[at]