Vital Conversations: An Interactive Conflict Resolution Training Session for Fourth-Year Medical Students

Rathnayaka Mudiyanselage Gunasingha, Nancy Knudsen, Timothy Scialla, Amanda Shepherd, Alison Clay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: The AAMC has recognized the importance of effective teamwork and collaboration. One core Entrustable Professional Activity emphasizes creating a climate of mutual respect and trust and prioritizing team needs over personal needs, which leads to safe, timely, effective, efficient, and equitable patient care. Relationship conflicts, specifically, are associated with decreased productivity, complex information processing, and work satisfaction. Given the prevalence of conflict and its impact on health care workers, the lack of conflict resolution curricula in undergraduate medical education is surprising. We developed a curriculum formally introducing these skills and allowing practice in a simulated environment before students entered residency. Methods: Fourth-year medical students completed a conflict resolution exercise in a mandatory transition-to-residency course. Students completed online prework including reflection on teamwork and information on conflict resolution styles, participated in a simulated conflict with a standardized patient acting as a nurse, and afterward completed a self-evaluation with video review by the students' assigned coach and feedback on the session. Results: We collected complete responses from 108 students. We evaluated the curriculum for feasibility and acceptability by faculty and students. Most students agreed with faculty on their entrustment and milestone levels. Students found that the session prompted self-reflection and was a good review of conflict resolution. The standardized patient and faculty feedback was found to be the most useful by the students. Discussion: We successfully implemented a simulated but realistic conflict resolution exercise. Students found the exercise helpful in their preparation for residency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11074
Number of pages1
JournalMedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Curriculum
  • EPA
  • Multimedia
  • Self-Assessment
  • Self-Regulated Learning
  • Standardized Patient


Dive into the research topics of 'Vital Conversations: An Interactive Conflict Resolution Training Session for Fourth-Year Medical Students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this