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A well educated person has to be trained in the right direction. Our students come with different social and economic backgrounds. This cultural variety encompasses numerous preconceptions and prejudices. The aim of the course is to empower our undergraduates with the skills of analyzing, reasoning, evaluating, problem solving and decision making. The objective of the course on Communication Skills and Critical Thinking is to build skills to be a respected oral healthcare specialist and to be competent in:

  • Communicating confidently with all kind of people.
  • Presenting thoughts and ideas in a critical order in the clinic context, writing for journals and developing research findings.
  • Creating lasting bonds with patients, seniors, peers and various other interfaces

This course trains them to Learn, Practice and Master these skills in the 3rd and 4th year BDS. The entire course is divided in 11 Communication skills module and the 11 Critical thinking skills module.
The staff for Communication Skills:
Dr Atul Sattur
Dr Ashith Acharya
Dr Shruti A Patil
Dr Sangamesh B
Dr Ameet V.
The staff for Critical thinking Skills:
Dr Atul Sattur
Dr Ashith Acharya
Dr Sangamesh B
Dr Ameet V.

Composition of the Course on Communication Skills & Critical Thinking

Desired Course outcomes

  • Better understanding of communication skills & critical thinking
  • Know why communication skills & critical thinking is important
  • Understanding the communication & thought process
  • Application of communication skills & critical thinking
  • Accept the challenge to communicate effectively and think critically in every situation
  • Apply reasoning and logic to make appropriate decisions

Effective Communication:

  • Various professional interfaces necessitating effective communication
  • Attributes of successful oral healthcare specialists
  • Need for effective communication skills
  • Benefits of effective communication
  • Difficult clinic situations
  • Barriers to effective communication
  • Characteristics of an effective communicator
  • Essentials of effective communication
  • Factors affecting effective communication
  • Six principles for effective communication

Types of Communication:

  • Oral/written communication
  • Formal/informal communication
  • Verbal/non- verbal communication
  • Impact of effective communication
  • Elements of the communication pyramid

Verbal Communication:

  • Elements of verbal communication
  • Correctness of speech
  • Audibility
  • Pacing and pausing
  • Tone

Non- Verbal Communication:

  • Definition of nonverbal communication
  • Importance of nonverbal communication
  • Components of nonverbal communication
  • Paralanguage
  • Gestures
  • Facial expressions
  • Posture
  • Eye contact

Verbal–Nonverbal Relationships

Keys to Effective Listening:

  • Levels of listening
  • Displaying attentive, active & empathetic listening
  • Empathetic listening
  • Ingredients of empathetic listening
  • Value of empathy
  • Responding with empathy
  • Listening mistakes
  • Questioning, types of questions
  • Listening technique

Written Communication:

  • Written communication opportunities
  • Importance of written communication
  • Commonly made mistakes
  • Referrals & its structure
  • Deciding the subject
  • Deciding the salutation
  • Introduction, body and close

Presentation Skills:

  • Organizing content
  • Audience analysis
  • Opening & closing

Introduction and definition of critical thinking

Elements of thought – organizing thoughts:

  •    Point of view
  •    Purpose
  •    Questions at issue
  •    Implications and consequences
  •    Information
  •    Interpretation and Inference
  •    Concepts
  •    Assumptions

Effective critical thinking skills:

  • Self monitoring
  • Self discipline
  • Self corrective thinking

Cultivated levels of critical thinking:

  • Conceptualizing
  • Applying
  • Analyzing
  • Synthesizing
  • Evaluating

Creating ‘Handy Actions’ for various situations:

  • Ethical dilemma
  • Feeling helpless
  • Feeling angry
  • Dealing with egos
  • Dealing with another’s error

Critical thinking tools:

  • Mind mapping
  • Brain storming
  • Affinity diagrams
  • Multi-voting technique
  • Interrelationship diagram
  • 80-20 principle (Pareto principle)
  • SWOT analysis

How to use the tools:

  • Identify and list problems
  • Identify the root cause of each problem
  • Score the problems
  • Group problems
  • Add up the scores for each group
  • Take action


  • Instructor-led presentation
  • Facilitator-led discussion
  • Group exercise
  • Individual exercise
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