Managing the influx: a peer-led session on communication and professionalism in medicine


  • Colin Whaley Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University
  • Bradley Murphy Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University
  • Connie Li
  • Amanda Bell


Medical education, professionalism, communication, peer-led initiatives


As student leaders in the undergraduate MD Program at McMaster, we saw our classmates experiencing challenges in the areas of communication and professionalism.  One of several key domains highlighted in undergraduate medical curricula and frameworks, including CanMEDS, is the development of professional identity. To meet these expectations, core competencies such as communication are crucial for effective future practice with patients and colleagues. In response, we set out to create a novel addition to the McMaster undergraduate medical curriculum through the creation of a student-led teaching session delivered to the incoming MD Program class. We addressed two main aspects: appropriately receiving and integrating new information provided, and efficiently retrieving existing information. The aim of our session was to minimize unnecessary communications within class group chats, frustration from administration around missed deadlines, and student burnout created by the increased administrative burden. We explain the process of developing this peer-led session on professionalism and provide a figure to help fellow students develop their communication and professionalism skills. The session met its stated goal of introducing students to some strategies to promote clear, effective communication.