Communication skills should be part of surgical residents' training, according to a study published in the Archives of Surgery. Residents' case-specific communication skills improved significantly after they participated in an interactive program on the principles of effective patient communication. Although the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education lists good communication as a core skill, most surgical residents receive no formal communications training and instead learn on the job, says lead author Rajiv Chandawarker. "Without communication skills, even the best surgical training would be rendered ineffective," the study authors write.

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