Communications research

z_DSCN3153The work with educators in veterinary medicine continues to be stimulating and productive. It is not without its controversies involving issues of morality and ethics, philosophy, and empathy, even political theory. For example, two posters at the annual Veterinary Education Symposium led to some lively debates. The topics were:

1) Suicide by a dog? More than a bereavement scenario: an existential issue for veterinary education.

2) Veterinary education and social media: “even if you teach it, they will not learn it”.

z_DSCN3155Less controversially, my collaboration with all seven UK vet schools led to this publication:

Mossop, L., Gray, C., Blaxter, A., Gardiner, A., MacEachern, K., Watson, P., Whittlestone, K., & Robbé, I.J. (2015) Communication skills training: what the vet schools are doing. Veterinary Record, 176: 114–117.

We have come a long way since I facilitated a workshop on curriculum development in communication skills with representatives from the UK vet schools in 2009. There are significant synergies between medical education for veterinary medicine and human medicine and our collaborations are strongly in both directions.

Through a separate collaboration another paper has been accepted:

McDermott, M., Tischler, V., Cobb, M., Dean, R., & Robbé, I.J. (2015) Veterinarian-client communication skills: current state, relevance, and opportunities for improvement. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, in press.

It is a good example of the productivity from a multiprofessional alliance involving the fields of veterinary research and education, psychology, arts and humanities, and community health.


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About Iain Robbe

I am a medical practitioner (MB, BS, 1980; MRCS, LRCP, 1980) registered with the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I have reactivated my licence to practise and I am providing telephone support to vulnerable elderly to assist them during the pandemic. I remain active as a Clinical Medical Educationist participating in a number of projects with the universities of St Mary’s and Dalhousie in Nova Scotia and Mount Allison in New Brunswick, inter alia, and separately with three of the veterinary schools in the UK. My focus is on teaching and research in professionalism, ethics, and communications, and particularly the influences of vernacular architecture on the creation of positive learning experiences in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. I have the degree of Master in Public Health from the University of London (1985) and the degree of Master in Medical Education with distinction from the University of Wales (2001). The guiding principles in my practices are based on andragogy and humanism, and the prime ethical principle of autonomy for the individual and in population health.

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