Innovative ways to Improve Doctor / Patient Communication

Our partners at Select International in the USA have continued to implement medical practitioner selection and development projects in an era of healthcare reform. Australian healthcare facilities also recognize that more is expected of medical practitioners, particularly in consideration of the behavioural and leadership skills needed by their group or their employer – and we’ve not, historically, given them the tools to be successful. For several years Select International have worked on strategies and tools based on what is known to work with highly intelligent, valuable professionals and executives. These tools have been adapted to the unique needs of doctors and healthcare organizations. They’ve been well-received in the USA and are now available here in Australia. In spite of a history of resistance to change, this is one area where doctors, themselves, are recognizing the problem and lobbying for solutions.

The projects have included, for instance:

  • A new approach to the medical practitioner interview – continuing to focus on the candidate experience, but also gleaning information about the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses and work style.

  • Using the new Select Assessment for Physicians behavioural assessment during the on-boarding process to get a baseline on the relevant behavioural competencies – a baseline that can form the basis of an individual development plan. There are clients starting to use this tool during the recruiting process.

  • Using the Select Executive Assessment and Leadership Platform to evaluate potential medical practitioner leaders, and to understand strengths and weaknesses of current leaders. There have been some engaging workshops, for instance, where the strengths and weaknesses of a group of medical practitioner leaders, as whole were debated, and how they impact the group’s performance, and organizational success – and identifying concrete operational changes.

There is a growing awareness that these behavioural skills are critical to medical practitioner, and organizational, success.

We have many years of experience using assessment tools here in Australia. Our approach will help doctors to understand and predict behavioural tendencies. This is the critical first step.

What’s promising is that some medical schools are placing an emphasis on communication and behavioural skills, but these programs are still in their infancy. We are working with our clients to develop programs to routinely evaluate behavioural skills and implement some form of individual development plans – like we do with any executive, and to commit more resources to organization-wide discussion and training on these behavioural skills.

Successful patient care is dependent on medical communication on many levels – with patients and families, other doctors, nursing and other clinical staff. Efficient and effective solutions to this challenge are now available.

To learn more about Select Assessments and our Healthcare platform, please contact

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