Clinical Communication At Queen Mary, Malta Campus

Patient-centric dialogue is part art, part science.

Good communication can elevate a good doctor to a great one, says Dr Adriano Buontempo, a clinical lecturer at Queen Mary, Malta. And yet some students believe it’s a skill you either have or you don’t. According to Adriano, clinical communications skills can be taught, and is an increasingly important area of medicine with a school of thought around how to deliver information.

Do you mean bedside manner?

Clinical communication refers to the exchange of information between healthcare professionals, patients, and their families within a clinical setting. It encompasses verbal and non-verbal interactions, as well as the use of written and electronic communication tools, all aimed at facilitating effective and compassionate healthcare delivery.

Traditionally, clinical communication has been referred to as bedside manner, meaning a doctor’s approach or attitude to a patient, but today the field has taken on more structured, evidence-based ways of relaying information that produce good outcomes for patients.

“Clinical communication at Queen Mary, Malta begins in Year One and continues to Year Five,” explains Adriano. “We start with patient-centred interviewing, which revolves around understanding what patients want from doctors, then we detail how to be respectful and aware of different personality types. An important skill is to learn how to break bad news to patients, so we use actors to play the role of these patients in a safe environment.”

Adriano is always looking to update the course with the latest thinking. His favourite thing to do is contact lecturers at different universities to see what topics they think are important. Students, alike, have a lot of knowledge earned on clinical placement which he tries to bring back into the classroom.

“One of my favourite things is watching students become excellent communicators, but many start out thinking that one is either a good communicator or not,” says Adriano. “The truth is that communication skills, just like clinical skills, are something you can practice.”

There’s more to medicine than communication

Clinical communication has become a passion for Adriano, but he wasn’t always so evangelical about medicine, and he wants students to understand that the degree is not as restrictive as you might think.

When Adriano was in medical school, he told us that he made the faulty conclusion that medicine would only offer him two career paths: doctor or surgeon. Concerned that hospital life might cause him burnout, he realised that flexibility was something he wished for from his career.

“When I joined Queen Mary, Malta, I realised how many things one can do with a medical degree, whether it’s research (we work here with a lot of scientists in the field of medicine that study disease and beyond) or medical education. Queen Mary, Malta, is particularly good at preparing students for a varied and rewarding career in medicine.”

Adriano also wants students to enjoy Queen Mary, Malta to the fullest and that there will always be support on hand no matter the challenges you face while studying.

Chef Samual carrying leeks to use in his Maltese cuisine.

Learn clinical communication at Queen Mary, Malta

If you decide to join us at Queen Mary, Malta, you will master the art of effective clinical communication. Not only is communication one of the most sought-after skills that patients seek, but it is also a more general skill that can be applied to the rest of your life.

Still not convinced?

Queen Mary, Malta Campus is a global leading university with highly qualified lecturers. Do not leave it too long, our course is regularly oversubscribed. Register your interest at the earliest opportunity.