Associate Professor Silas Taylor (MBChB, BSc, MEd) is UNSW Medicine Convenor of Clinical Skills.
He qualified in Medicine in the UK, but has subsequently been involved in Medical Education at UNSW Medicine for over ten years. As such, is a multi-award winning academic, most notably receiving the university’s highest accolade, the UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, in 2017. His expertise is in Clinical Skills teaching and as a curriculum designer, he has successfully implemented a volunteer Simulated Patient Program (SPP) into the UNSW Medicine curriculum, as well as the technologically and educationally innovative Online Simulated Patient Interaction and Assessment (OSPIA) platform. A current major project is the introduction of a Clinical Workplace-Based Assessment application being rolled out across the entire six-year medical program, with the aim to provide up-to-date information on WBA completions for both students and Faculty.
Dr Taylor chairs the Faculty Clinical Learning and Assessment Committee, and is a member of the Medicine Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, working to raise the UNSW Medicine intake of students from low socio-economic background.
It is generally accepted that ‘communication skills are important’ for today’s graduate. However, there are a range of conceptions, and perhaps some misconceptions, about what particular skills are most relevant to the modern workplace, and how we might try to ensure that our graduates acquire them.
Using communication skills in medicine as an example, and interspersed with some reflections on his journey in teaching these skills, Dr Taylor will discuss which skills he focuses on, why he does so, and how these skills can be effectively and efficiently assessed.
Dr Taylor will suggest that there are similarities across professions, indeed for all graduates, and that these skills are paramount in an age of cheap information (but perhaps less understanding). The lecture will provoke thought about whether ‘communication skills’ need to be given a fresh look in your program.