Medicine Admin Folk Need Better Language/People Skills

Some time back, the final year students of the YLL SoM received an email from the Dean’s Office. It started with,

I am pleased to inform you that there will be a briefing for all M5 students on M5 specific matters on [Day of Week] [Date] from [Time] to [Time + 1hr]. in Lecture Theatre [Number]. We look forward to your attendance*.”

Naturally, all M5 medical students love nothing more than an extra 1 hour briefing, on a subject that is unspecified, held after a 2 hour lecture, instead of going out, eating dinner, sleeping at home, or generally having a life.

Maybe it’s a lesson on how to communicate with patients:
“It is my pleasure to inform you that you have terminal hepatocellular carcinoma!”

In another case, the Internal Medicine department secretary spoke to a batch of SIP students. She said,

“Get your feedback forms from your supervisors and nurse clinicians. Remind them to hand it to me by Friday. Otherwise I don’t receive it, you don’t get graded, then you fail your SIP, it’s not my problem. I already passed the forms to your supervisors. The NUS office giving us very tight deadline, must give them forms by Wednesday.”

The medical students were very touched by her concern.

Furthermore, they were very confused. So they collect the forms and then remind the supervisors to hand in the forms they no longer have? They collect the forms so they can see what grades they were given? They remind the tutors to collect the forms from them?

J. clarified with the DIM person and found out no, they were just supposed to remind the staff to hand in the completed forms.

Maybe it’s time for some skill upgrading for some admin staff… just maybe.


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