Effective communication skills are a core competency required of all doctors; an important tool that facilitates proper history-taking during the doctor-patient interaction. The teaching of this skill is now an integral part of undergraduate medical education and is largely taught using simulation techniques. The current study aimed to explore medical students’ perceptions of their learning experience in a history-taking module which was done via simulated learning. Qualitative descriptive methodology was used in this study. Data was collected through focus group discussions from a total of 17 participants. These were purposefully sampled from the target population of second-year medical students who had recently completed the history-taking module. during the 2017 academic year. All data was analyzed thematically, using an inductive approach to identify the emerging themes. Three major themes emerged from the thematic analysis of the qualitative data with sub-themes under each of them. The three major themes were: the ‘portals of learning’, challenges to learning and reflections on learning. The research shown that the simulated approach is particularly useful in the teaching and learning of communication skills in history-taking. The findings suggested three main areas the students’ perceptions focused on which shed light on possible reasons for not achieving proficiency in history-taking. These relate to the ways in which learning opportunities were offered, the challenges encountered in the learning process and reflections on the learning experience.
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