Advanced Communication Skills - Reading List

Below is our list of the most important books in the literature of the consultation. However it is a very personal list and you will not need to have read a single word of any of these to gain value form the course.

  • Balint, E. and Norell, J. S. “Six Minutes for the Patient” Tavistock Publications (1973)
  • Balint, M. “The Doctor, His Patient and The Illness” Churchill Livingstone (3rd Edn 1986)
  • (The work of Michael and Enid Balint and collaborators laid the foundation in the UK for the study of the consultation)
  • Berne, E. “Games People Play” Penguin (1973)
  • (Enjoyable read and has explanations for a range of patient behaviours)
  • Byrne, P.S. and Long, E.L. “Doctors talking to Patients” HMSO (1976)
  • (Early landmark study)
  • Kurtz, S., Silverman, J. and Draper, J. “Teaching and Learning Communication Skills in Medicine” Radcliffe Medical Press (2nd edition 2005)
  • (One of the 2 volumes that constitute the “manual” for the Calgary Cambridge method – only crucial for use in teaching, when it becomes very valuable)
  • Maguire, P., Pitceathly, C, Key communication skills and how to acquire them. BMJ 2002; 325: 697-700.
  • (Concise and complete recent review)
  • Moulton, L. “The Naked Consultation”. Radcliffe Medical Press (2007)
  • (A very practical book, aimed especially at GPs. Congruent with the Calgary Cambridge method).
  • Neighbour, R. “The Inner Consultation” Petroc Press (1987)
  • (Rightly one of the most popular books on the consultation, and written in an engaging and novel style)
  • Pendleton, D., Schofield, T., Tate, P. and Havelock, P. “The Consultation” Oxford University Press (1984)
  • (A seminal work which shaped consultation skills teaching)
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  • Platt FW, Gordon G. “Field Guide to the Difficult Patient Interview”. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Philadelphia (2nd edition 2004)
  • (concise genius – the best “How to do it” manual in the field, bar none)
  • Silverman, J., Kurtz, S. and Draper, J. “Skills for Communicating With Patients” Radcliffe Medical Press (2nd edition 2005)
  • (The “skills” part of the manual for the Calgary Cambridge method – not a light read, but comprehensive and logical with explicit links to the evidence).
  • Simpson, M., Buckman, R., Stewart, M. et al. “Doctor-patient communication: the Toronto consensus statement” BMJ, 303, 1385-7 (1991)
  • (Why communication skills training is now on the agenda for all doctors)
  • Tannen, D. “That’s Not What I Meant!” Virago (1992)
  •  (A superb book, very readable, dealing with communication with people who are not like you [different sex, culture, class or age]).
  • Tuckett, D, (1985), Meetings Between Experts - An Approach to Sharing Ideas in Medical Consultations. London: Tavistock Publications.
  • (A fascinating read – brilliant thoughtful original research on the consultation)
  • Waitzkin, H., Doctor-patient communication: clinical implications of social scientific research. Journal of the American Medical Association, 1984, 252: 2441-2446.
  • (An excellent research review. One of the core pieces of evidence for the Calgary Cambridge framework)
  • Washer, P. “Clinical Communication Skills”. Oxford University Press (2009).
  • (Despite being targeted at medical students, in fact this a well-written and practical manual for more experienced doctors, nurses etc. It takes a behavioural approach that is completely consistent with Calgary Cambridge).
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