Integration and potential of teaching communication skills in the study of veterinary medicine in Germany
Goal: Presentation of the current range of courses regarding communication at the five German educational institutions for veterinary medicine. In addition to learning objectives and individual solutions, possible potential for future developments are presented. Methods: Interviews with communication educators at the five German education institutions and subsequent synopsis. Results: To date, there are no binding education guidelines regarding communication in veterinary medicine. Nevertheless, communication education has been introduced at all five education institutions, albeit depth and formats vary considerably. The learning objectives are largely consistent and based on the recommendations for day-one-skills made by the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education. Communication is not recognized as a fully-fledged subject in the curricula of any of the education institutions. All education institutions clearly fall short of teaching the recommended 150 lecture hours. Conclusion: To ensure communication skills in veterinary medicine graduates, binding education guidelines should be agreed upon. Communication education should be integrated into all veterinary curricula as a fully-fledged subject with longitudinally increasing depth.