University of Pittsburgh


Introduction to Patient Care

Advanced Medical Interviewing

January 10, 2019-February 1, 2019
4 sessions

Course Director
Carla Spagnoletti, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Medicine

Course Description

The goal of this course is to explore the interviewing process more in depth and to practice the skills of the medical interview, after students have clinical experience with patients.

After completing this course, students should be able to:

  1. describe all the tasks involved in a physician-patient encounter.
  2. demonstrate an ability to use skills important in developing a therapeutic relationship.
  3. demonstrate an ability to complete initial tasks of the interview with patients in difficult situations.
  4. demonstrate an ability to interact compassionately with a patient who has unrealistic expectations of the encounter.

The 16 faculty are from the Departments of Family Medicine, Medicine, and Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery.

Educational Methods

This course uses a combination of didactic sessions and encounters with Standardized Patients. After the lecture, students separate into small groups of 4 – 5 students and practice each of the tasks, one student at a time, with a Standardized Patient.


Standardized patient encounters Clinical skills development Lectures    
Small group sessions            



Evaluation is based on attendance and on faculty evaluations of the last two sessions.

Grading: Students are required to pass this course to pass the Introduction to Patient Care Block, Section 4. Grading for the block is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.

Faculty Note

Course Director Carla Spagnoletti, MD; Gregory Bump, MD; James Dewar, MD; Stephanie Dewar, MD; and Peg Watt-Morse, MD are recipients of the William I. Cohen Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills Instruction. Jason Rosenstock, MD, and Diemthuy Bui, MD are recipients of the Kenneth E. Schuit Master Educator Award. In addition, Drs. Bump and Rosenstock; Thuy Bui, MD; Peter Bulova, MD; Raquel Buranosky, MD; Carla Spagnoletti, MD; and Giselle Hamad, MD are members of the UPSOM Academy of Master Educators.