Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Review of your consultation / communication skills

Review of your consultation / communication skills


  • The patient is made to feel welcome
  • The patient is encouraged to express their reasons for attendance
  • Verbal and non-verbal cues are used
  • Good eye contact demonstrated

Information gathering

  • Displays organised listening and responds to cues with both open and closed questions
  • Allows the patient to express reasons for attendance, including during a follow-up consultation
  • Uses appropriate language with no jargon
  • Any necessary examination is explained
  • Explanation of management plan given
  • Checks the understanding of the patient and agrees follow-up arrangements


  • Involves the patient in decision making
  • Explores the patient’s wishes and views
  • Gives the patient options
  • Confirms patient’s agreement and understanding and reviews the plan
  • Negotiates & delivers a plan based on doctor’s knowledge of patient’s views

Health Enablement (including Health Promotion)

  • Increases self-awareness to improve health
  • Establishes risk factors and risk taking behaviour and offers advice and action
  • Explores health beliefs of patients
  • Ensures the patient’s understanding and responsibility for health
  • Uses motivational interviewing or reflection

Management Plan

  • Uses information gathered to form agreed management plan
  • The management plan is based on best evidence, is informed by doctor’s knowledge of the patient, and is medically necessary
  • A range of options is given, an option agreed, and a plan for review is made (if appropriate)

Insight and Understanding

  • Understands the consultation and has insight into own performance; for example, additional factors (such as social and family) are taken into account and the log reflects these
  • Takes into account the past medical history, surgical history and the patient’s expectations
  • Admits to knowledge gaps, and acts appropriately

Useful Reading on Consultation Skills

  • David Pendelton, Theo Schofield, Peter Tate and Peter Havelock, The Consultation (An Approach to Learning and Teaching), Oxford General Practice Series 6
  • Kurtz SM, Silverman JD, Draper J (2004). Teaching and Learning Communication Skills in Medicine (2nd ed) Radcliffe Publishing
  • Peter Tate: The Doctor’s Communication Handbook (Third Edition), Radcliffe Medical Press
  • Roger Neighbour: The Inner Consultation, (How to develop an effective and intuitive consulting style), Petroc Press
  • Silverman JD, Kurtz SM, Draper J. Skills for Communicating with Patients (1998). Radcliffe Medical Press Ltd.
  • A useful update on the Calgary - Cambridge approach to consultation skills (

This page was last updated on: 10/03/2022