Keynotes and Seminars

Communications Training for Physicians:
The 7 Best Ways to Get People to Do What You Ask

Willingly, Easily and Effectively

CME Speaker Wendy KellerWhat is the problem (C2)?

The status of health care is a prominent discussion topic in the USA today. Health care professionals need to provide high-quality, safe, effective health care while lowering costs and increasing effectiveness. One main component in delivering this goal successfully is effective communication and fluid teamwork. Good communication prevents costly or dangerous errors; increases patient satisfaction; streamlines patient care to prevent delays; and demonstrates a united front among members of the health care team to the patients and their families.



However, miscommunication is rife given the overloaded healthcare system and the frenetic pace at which healthcare is delivered. As team leaders, physicians are responsible for the effectiveness of their communication with their support team.

Doctor-nurse communications often suffer from one of these four potential challenges:

  • Some physicians are not clear in their communication
  • Some physicians do not provide instruction or direction to their support team and confirm it is properly understood
  • Some physicians do not prefer to be assertive or have been raised in cultures that are not assertive
  • A physician’s previous behavior or communication style may have contributed to “hard feelings” between the doctor and the team member to whom they are currently delegating

Overcoming and resolving any intra-personnel communication issues is mandatory to increasing the speed, accuracy and efficacy of healthcare; improving patient outcomes; and enhancing job satisfaction for all stakeholders in the hospital setting.

 How do we know this is a problem (C2)?

Why does this problem exist? (C2)

X Lack knowledge about how to resolve problem(s) through effective communication

X Lack of training in leadership techniques commonly used in non-healthcare environs

X Lack strategies to apply knowledge to practice (competence)

What do attendees need? (C2)

Improving physician-nurse communication and collaboration holds promise for improving patient care and creating a more genial and satisfying work environment for all stakeholders.


Learning Objectives (C3)

At the conclusion of this activity, the learners will be able to:

  • Take responsibility for communication as team leaders
  • Recognize the inherent power in their words
  • Keen awareness of how miscommunication happens easily in high pressure environments
  • Understand the potential for cultural, gender and linguistic speed bumps in any communication
  • Awareness of the efforts nurses put in and increased compassion for their workload
  • Use the “Oreo Cookie” method of delivering negative or constructive feedback
  • Enact a strategy for self-calming before potentially negative interactions
  • Accurately use the proper communication sequence to ensure subordinates understand what your orders are for them
  • Have a clear and incontrovertible awareness about how taking an extra moment to communicate effectively reduces problems in the future
  • Apply the “More Flies With Honey” Principle in a non-sexist, genial yet dignified way
  • Increase their “likability” factor with support personnel – and get better performance from them as a direct result
  • Accept that their communication patterns are simply learned behaviors that can be improved or modified to create more favorable outcomes
  • Apply the new knowledge in practice

Optimally, this program is a 2 hour workshop although it can be delivered in 45-60 minutes


(IMQ’s CLC requirement)

Educational Delivery Method (C5):

  • Lecture
  • Question and answer session
  • Handout for future reference

 Rationale for Delivery Method (C5):

  • Knowledge conveyed in a short time
  • Application of knowledge to increase team unity and patient outcomes

 Professional Competencies (C6):

Interpersonal and Communication Skills – Provide specific communication training to facilitate more effective, mutually respectful and clear communications between physicians and support staff, especially nurses.

Professionalism – Profound reduction in discord and miscommunication between doctors and support team members, primarily nurses.



Wendy is available for web-based activities as well as in-person activities. She can also produce pre- and post-test questions if your organization requests for compliance with the AMA’s assessment requirement for online activities.



If your doctors could use some help communicating more effectively, clearly and directly, just click here or call 800.278.8706 x711