Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication, Professional

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Kelly A. Dorgan

Committee Members

James E. Florence, John M. King


The general relationship between the physician and the patient is one where communication is used to establish and maintain what will likely become a long-term partnership. Health communication research indicates that physicians who have apt communication skills in the patient-physician relationship develop a platform of trust behaviors. The physician communication behaviors perceived to elicit trust reported by patients are; comfort/caring, agency, competence, compassion and honesty. The objective of the research project was to assess patient perceptions of previously determined physician communication behaviors that predict patient trust through individual surveys (N=162) between foreign-born international medical graduates and American-born non-IMG resident physicians. Patients reported finding a difference in the exhibited communication behaviors between non-IMG and IMG resident physicians, with the exception of comfort/caring. A modified Trust Model guided the research and supported certain prior findings, claiming that effective communication cannot exist in the absence of a solid, trusting physician-patient relationship.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.