A Model for a Novel Communication Training Program Focused on Accent Modification for International Medical Professionals

Poonam Khurana, Edgar Huang

Abstract


Effective communication is a core component of quality healthcare. It is a major determinant of patient satisfaction as well as career advancement for physicians and researchers. The demographics of the healthcare scenario in the United States have changed in the last decade. There is a dramatic increase in the number of International medical graduates (IMGs). While IMGs bring with them all their knowledge and expertise, their pronunciation and intonation patterns often create a barrier to their communication. Paradoxically, very few programs exist in the U.S. to provide communication skills training geared to the IMGs’ needs. To fill this void, a training program that targets the communication gaps of non-native English-speaking medical professionals with accent modification as the starting point was developed at Indiana University. This manuscript offers a blueprint for the development of this cutting-edge program and outlines its mission, structure and research findings. The paper also seeks to raise awareness of the needs of IMGs who are essential to the US healthcare system. The program described is offered as a resource for these professionals and for institutions of higher education seeking to invest in the professional development of their international faculty and students.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jet.v2i1.6261

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