Volume 2022 Number 3
  • EISSN: 2223-506X


Communication skills “CS” have no clear curriculum in most Iraqi medical colleges. This shortcoming of education is reflected in a doctor-centered approach in Iraq.

To identify challenges facing introduction of CS into medical education in Iraq.

Feedback form including the main challenges on introducing CS was distributed online to healthcare professionals who have participated in training of CS courses.

Ninety-three healthcare professionals responded; 55 males and 38 females; 46 faculty members and 47 practitioners with part-time teaching. Doctors constituted 92 % of the respondents from different disciplines, and 75.2% had more than 15 years’ experience in practice. Frequency of educational and practical challenges were 40% and 44% respectively. Lack of appropriate curriculum constitutes 42% of educational challenges. Challenges include doctors' training in western models which are difficult to transform the interview into a dialogue that harmonizes Iraqi culture and social barriers (16% of respondents). A biomedical approach (22%) and lack of resources (22%) presented other challenges, while 14% of the participants mentioned high proportion of students to faculty members. Challenges related to practice includes a doctor-centered approach (47%) and neglect of patients' psychosocial needs (30%). Factors related to patients revealed that 46% of the challenges were related to health literacy and 26% to patients’ behavior for seeking medical advice. The presence of more than one person at interview was the most difficult factor for successful interview (14%), in addition to the passive role of the patient during interview (13%). There is no significance statistical difference in challenges in relation to specialty, workplace, sex and years of practice.

Multiple levels of challenges facing introduction of CS into medical education were revealed which need systematic review in the educational curricula and practice of medicine.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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