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Requirements and course description

2020/2021 – 1st year

Medical communication course code:AOKMAG670_1A

credit: 2 credits


Course director: Dr. József Kovács
Course leader: Dr. János Pilling
Study affairs: Dr. Adrienne Stauder (stauder.adrienne[at]
Secretaries: Csilla Motyovszki and Lilla Talmaci
Secretariat: NET Building, 20th floor, Room 2015; E-mail: titkarsag.magatartastudomany[at];
Tel:  210-2930 extension 56126 or 56114

With any request concerning the course, please first contact the course secretariat.

Semester: 2020/21 I.

Course objectives:
Proper communication is an essential element of effective healing. Good communication helps to form a trusting relationship between the physician and the patient, it allows the doctor to gather effectively the information that underpins the diagnosis, and it improves the patient’s cooperation and adherence with treatments. The aim of education is partly to teach communication techniques that can make the daily tasks of doctors more effective: listening to, interviewing, informing and promoting cooperation of the patients. The subjects of education are also elements of the everyday doctor-patient relationship, which have recently come to the fore, such as e.g shared decision making, suggestive effects of medical communication, communication aspects of patient safety.

In addition to describing the general regularities of medical communication, the course also presents the specialities of communication in various areas of the health care. Thus, we deal with the peculiarities of communication with children or the elderly, discussion about sexual topics and the cultural competence of the doctor. In our education, we place great emphasis on the difficult issues of the doctor-patient relationship, so we deal with the communication of bad news and the prevention and management of aggression.

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.  .



Course text book (to be used for preparing for the exam):

Pilling János: „Medical Communication in Practice”, Medicina  2020.

In the bookstores of the Medicina Kiadó ( students of the Semmelweis University are entitled to a 10% discount upon presentation of their student ID.

Complementary teaching materials to be used for the preparation of the practices/seminars and the exam are available in the Moodle ( )

Other 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, Londo




LECTURES: Week 1-7

Time: Tuesdays 15.00-16.30

Venue: NET Barna (Brown Lecture Hall) (1089 Budapest, Nagyvárad tér 4. )

Week 1 (September 8): Introduction. Communication difficulties and possible solutions in everyday medical practice. (János Kollár )
VR 360 version of the lecture (you can watch it with virtual reality glasses)

Week 2. (September 15): Promoting behavior change. The development of the patient-physician collaboration (Adrienne Stauder)

Week 3. (September 22): The specialties of age in medical communication.  (Mónika Tóth)

Week 4. (September 29): Telemedicine, E-health. (Mónika Tóth)

Week 5. (October 6): Breaking Bad News. Disclosing Medical Errors. (János Kollár)

Week 6. (October 13): Suggestive Communication in Medical Practice. (János Kollár)

Week 7. (October 20): Communication about functional complaints (Adrienne Stauder)


SEMINARS:  Week 8-14  (see times, venues and teachers at the bottom)

Week 8.  Seminar. Communication in everyday life and in the medical practice.

Week 9. :  Seminar. The active listening. Communication aspects in empathy.

Week 10.: Patient information, patient education.

Week 11. :  Seminar. Promoting lifestyle change. suggestive communication techniques, motivational interview, shared decision-making.

Week 12. : Seminar. Communicating bad news (practice). Communicating with depressed patients. Recognizing the risk of suicide.

Week 13.: Seminar. Communication with tense, hostile patients, strategies to prevent violence. Communicating about intimate issues.

Week 14.: Seminar. The cultural competence of the doctor. Communicating about complementary and alternative therapies.

Exam period: December 14, 2020 – January 28, 2021

Requirements for the signature at the end of the semester:

A signature will be given with the prerequisite of participation at minimum 75% of the seminars.

Participation and making up for absences:
Participation list will be recorded at every 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!).

Type of the exam: oral

Method of the calculation of marks: performance on the oral exam.

Requirements for the exam: The oral exam is based on the course text book (János Pilling: Medical Communication in practice. Medicina, Budapest, 2020.) and the lecture handouts posted on the website.

Exam topics: List of topics


Application and changing the application for the exam: Through the Neptun system.