AAFP Audiobook: Communicating Effectively With Your Patients

Release date: March 31, 2019

Estimated time to complete: 75 minutes

Learning Objectives

At the end of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify seven communication techniques and create strategies to deepen relationships with patients.  
  2. Identify the challenges related to patient lists and ways to create shared agendas for office visits while maintaining practice efficiencies.
  3. Describe suggestions for improving communication with older patients and strategies to increase comfort and satisfaction among this patient population.
  4. State key tips that can support the delivery of bad news with empathy.
  5. Identify patient characteristics and scenarios that may be difficult to manage and how to respond to them appropriately.
  6. Review five key communication lessons that have the potential to strengthen physician-patient relationships while improving patient satisfaction and compliance.

Additional Information

Technical Requirements: 

View technical requirements (opens in a new window).

CME Credit Information: 

To obtain CME credit, view the presentations and complete the post assessment and evaluation online before 3/31/2021.

This medical journal activity, Audiobook: Communicate Effectively with Your Patients, from 03/31/2019 – 03/31/2021 has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 6.00 Prescribed credits by the American Academy of Family Physicians. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The AAFP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American Academy of Family Physicians designates this medical journal activity for a maximum of 6.00 AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. CME activities approved for AAFP credit are recognized by the AOA as equivalent to AOA Category 2 credit.

AAFP Members

AAFP members are eligible to receive AAFP Prescribed credit. At the end of each session, members may complete the post assessment and evaluation; the credits will then be added to the member’s CME record.


Nonmember physicians are eligible to receive the AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ on completion of the online post assessment and evaluation. Nonmember physicians are responsible for reporting their own credit when applying for the AMA Physician’s Recognition Award or other certificates or credentials. Healthcare professionals who are not physicians are eligible to receive CME credits on completion of the post assessment and evaluation. These individuals are responsible for reporting the CME credits to their professional organizations. To obtain a letter of participation that serves as documentation for completion of the activity, visit www.aafp.org/cmecertificate and then select “print” next to the activity listing.


It is the policy of the AAFP that all individuals in a position to control content disclose relationships with commercial entities upon nomination/invitation of participation. Disclosure documents are reviewed for potential conflict of interest and, if identified, are resolved prior to confirmation of participation. Only those participants who have no conflict of interest or who agree to an identified resolution process prior to their participation were involved in this CME activity.

All individuals in a position to control content for this activity have indicated they have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Faculty members shall disclose when an unapproved or investigational use of a product not yet approved for any purpose is discussed during an educational activity. Faculty members shall disclose that the product is not labeled for the use under discussion or that the product is still investigational. It is not the purpose of this policy to prohibit or limit the exchange of views in scientific and educational discussions, but to ensure that faculty members disclose to participants that such discussion will take place.

All faculty members for this activity have indicated the content of their presentations for this AAFP-produced educational activity will not include discussion of unapproved or investigational uses of products or devices.

The material presented here is being made available by the American Academy of Family Physicians for educational purposes only. This material is not intended to represent the only, nor necessarily best, methods or procedures appropriate for the medical situations discussed. Rather, it is intended to present an approach, view, statement, or opinion of the faculty, which may be helpful to others who face similar situations.

The AAFP disclaims any and all liability for injury or other damages resulting to any individual using this material and for all claims that might arise out of the use of the techniques demonstrated therein by such individuals, whether these claims shall be asserted by a physician or any other person.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the data presented here. Physicians may care to check specific details such as drug doses and contraindications, etc., in standard sources prior to clinical application.

This material might contain recommendations/guidelines developed by other organizations. Please note that although these guidelines might be included, this does not necessarily imply the endorsement by the AAFP.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 6.00 AAFP prescribed
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

The Art of Medicine: Seven Skills That Promote Mastery
Thomas R. Egnew, EdD, LICSW
Fam Pract Manag. 2014 Jul-Aug;21(4):25-30.

What Should You Do When Your Patient Brings a List?
Sarina Schrager, MD, MS, Sue Gaard, RN, MS
Fam Pract Manag. 2009 May-June;16(3):23-27.

Improving Communication With Older Patients: Tips From the Literature
Thomas E. Robinson II, PhD, George L. White Jr., PhD, MSPH, and John C. Houchins, MD
Fam Pract Manag. 2006 Sep;13(8):73-78.

Communicating Bad News to Your Patients
Jerry L. Old, MD
Fam Pract Manag. 2011 Nov-Dec;18(6):31-35.

How to Manage Difficult Patient Encounters
Sharon K. Hull, MD, MPH, Karen Broquet, MD
Fam Pract Manag. 2007 Jun;14(6):30-34.

Five Tips for Generating Patient Satisfaction and Compliance
Manoj Pawar MD, MMM
Fam Pract Manag. 2005 Jun;12(6):44-46.


Available Credit

  • 6.00 AAFP prescribed

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
Course expires: 


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