Beyond Words: Non Verbal Communication in the Undergraduate Medical Education Classroom


One of the greatest gifts bestowed upon humanity by the divine is the ability to communicate. This encompasses the expression of thoughts, emotions, information, abilities, and ideas through both verbal and nonverbal means. Nonverbal communication accounts for over 65% of all communication and is the focus of this research project, which aims to explore and assess the various aspects of nonverbal communication that influence student learning.
An exploratory sequential mixed methods research design was used among medical and dental students of a private medical university. Qualitative phase employed four focused group discussions to explore students’ experience regarding nonverbal communication of their teachers. Data was then analyzed through open thematic analysis. Quantitative phase was employed to collect data from 242 medical and dental students using a self-rated nonverbal communication questionnaire. The data were analyzed using SPSS 25. Permission was taken from the institutional review board (IRB) and informed consent was obtained.
A main theme, contextual nonverbal medical education practice, and two subthemes, namely nonverbal competencies in medical education possessing knowledge, skills, and attitudes relevant categories and nonverbal learning facilitation actions, emerged from qualitative data. The mean score of chronemics was 4.66 and vocalics was 4.33, whereas proxemics and oculesics were 4.00 respectively. Comparison between gender and program was statistically insignificant (P-Value > 0.05).
This study revealed that educators' nonverbal communication, is utilized decorously, is fundamental for students' learning facilitation, and can contribute effectively to learning communication strategy in the medical education classroom.

Author Information
Sara Khan, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Pakistan
Abel Jacobus Pienaar, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Pakistan
Gideon Victor, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Pakistan

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2023
Stream: Teaching Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon