A broader world view
Experience of alternative health systems (often in disadvantaged communities)
Specific clinical skills
Second (or third) languages
Resilience to setbacks
Ask your registrar what communication skills training they have done in the past, if any.
Employ a broad range of teaching methods to focus on communication skill development e.g. direct observation, role play, random case analysis.
Give explicit feedback on communication skill issues, including written English, even though it might be challenging.
Demonstrate your ‘spiel’ for explanation and management.
Encourage your registrar to use simple communication strategies in the consultation (see diagram 1).
Discuss non-verbal cues and their likely meanings in Australian general practice.
Discuss and role play situations where specific communication strategies may be required (as above).
Encourage reflective practice in your registrar i.e. ‘How well did I communicate in that consultation?
Encourage your registrar to watch local TV shows, read newspapers, see Australian films, attend local venues e.g. sports clubs or RSL (if comfortable) etc. to help refine their everyday English language skills.
Consider online learning courses e.g. Doctors Speak Up website13 or assistance from professional linguists/language teachers.
Provide useful phrases
Ask your registrar about the nature of their past clinical experience i.e. range of demographics, presentations etc.
Help your registrar identify their learning needs and clinical knowledge gaps using appropriate methods e.g. clinical self-assessment tool, random case analysis.
Discuss local and national disease epidemiology.
Encourage use of appropriate clinical resources and guidelines e.g. RACGP Red Book, Therapeutic Guidelines, Health Pathways.
Focus teaching on rational use of tests and treatments.
Use the GPSA teaching plans for in-practice teaching on identified knowledge deficits.
Date reviewed: 29 September 2023