I thoroughly recommend an excellent edition of Radio 4's 'Word of Mouth' devoted to medical communication. It includes a lively discussion on the pros and cons of 'teaching' communication skills. Shockingly, most medical students emerge from medical school communicating less well than when they started, communication having become ritualised at the expense of sincerity.
The programme also includes a discussion on how pain is talked about. Is a 'menu' of pain words helpful or is it overly constraining? One patient, Elizabeth McClung, explained how she finds the medical repetoire of pain words very limited (stabbing, throbbing, burning, nagging, radiating) and unable to cope with patients' metaphors. There are no easy answers, but the programme is a thoughtful look at it all.