UW School of Dentistry


Communication Skills III

Interviewing and History-Taking

Michael Martin

1 Credit / Quarter 2 (Winter, First Year)

Course Description

Provides early clinical experiences, and develops skills necessary to learn from patients what you need people to know about their social, medical, and dental histories to effectively understand the “whole patient” which allow you to diagnose, plan and provide appropriate treatment.

Educational Objectives

Students will learn interviewing and record-keeping skills basic to good dental and medical clinical practice.

Course Outline

Large Group lectures:
There will be several lectures and demonstration interviews during the quarter to introduce new topics which focus on social history, the chief complaint, and the illness narrative (health history). The demonstration interviews will be done with patients in front of the entire class.

Small Group Sessions:
Students will interview actual patients in the Oral Medicine Emergency Clinic twice during the quarter. At each of these two sessions, two students will be paired together to conduct interviews of ER patients. One student will do the Social History and Chief Complaint interviews, and the other will take the Medical History. Students will take turns evaluating each other during the interviews.
Additionally, students will participate in small group sessions with assigned Oral Medicine faculty mentors to evaluate and discuss what took place during your patient interviews using the critiques you completed while observing your partner.

Interviews of patients:
Each student will conduct 3 interviews during this course. The first 2 interviews will be conducted in the Oral Medicine ER clinic with actual patients. The third interview will also be conducted on a “patient”, but not in a clinical setting. Each student will select a “patient”, obtain medical and social histories, and conduct a comprehensive interview of this patient to produce a coherent write-up which you would allow you to proceed with dental treatment of the patient if they were actually coming to the clinic.

Course Expectations

Attendance at all group lectures, Interviews and small group sessions is required. Each student will submit a write-up of all three interviews.

Effective Winter Quarter 2007, completion of on-line course evaluation is a requirement of this course. Failure to comply will result in an “Incomplete” grade being assigned.

*last updated: 11/7/2011