A course for teaching patient-centered medicine to family medicine residents

Ayala Yeheskel, Aya Biderman, Jeffrey M. Borkan, Joseph Herman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Scopus citations


    In 1988 the Department of Family Medicine at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel developed a course that helps residents to acquire the attitudes and skills required for practicing patient-centered medicine. In the patient-centered approach, the physician relates to patients according to their needs rather than the doctor's own agenda, moving from professional control to patient empowerment. Though there are many elements to this method, certain basic orientations and skills are essential and must be taught, modeled, and reinforced in trainees. To accomplish these aims, a three-year course was developed, which is largely based on directed reading, open discussion, case presentations, role-plays, and Balint groups. It is composed of four levels, each of which must be mastered before residents can move to the next. The levels are (1) doctor-patient communication; (2) family-systems theory - concepts; (3) family-systems theory - practical applications; and (4) multidimensional approaches to simulated patients. In this article, the authors describe the course's concepts and content, and some indicators as to its influence on graduates.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)494-497
    Number of pages4
    JournalAcademic Medicine
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education


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