R.L. Hulsman PhD


R.L. Hulsman PhD

Assistant Professor
Main activities
Education, Research
medical communication teaching and assessment
Focus of research

Research on education in medical communication:

- teaching and assessment of skills;

- professional behaviour;

- self-evaluation and reflection;

- peer-feedback

- peer-assessment

- e-learning;

- determinants of medical communication;

- psychophysiology of behaviour

Key publications
  • Hulsman Robert L., van der Vloodt Jane Self-evaluation and peer-feedback of medical students' communication skills using a web-based video annotation system. Exploring content and specificity Patient education and counseling 2015;98 (3):356-363 [PubMed]
  • Hulsman Robert L., Peters Joline F., Fabriek Marcel Peer-assessment of medical communication skills: the impact of students' personality, academic and social reputation on behavioural assessment Patient education and counseling 2013;92 (3):346-354 [PubMed]
  • Hulsman Robert L., Smets Ellen M. A., Karemaker John M., de Haes Hanneke J. C. J. M. The psychophysiology of medical communication. Linking two worlds of research Patient education and counseling 2011;84 (3):420-427 [PubMed]
  • Hulsman Robert L., Pranger Susan, Koot Stephanie, Fabriek Marcel, Karemaker John M., Smets Ellen M. A. How stressful is doctor-patient communication? Physiological and psychological stress of medical students in simulated history taking and bad-news consultations International journal of psychophysiology 2010;77 (1):26-34 [PubMed]
  • Hulsman Robert L. Shifting goals in medical communication. Determinants of goal detection and response formation Patient education and counseling 2009;74 (3):302-308 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae

Robert Hulsman studied clinical neuropsychology at the University of Amsterdam and received his degree in 1988.
He got his PhD at the University of Utrecht in 1998 on a thesis entitled: ‘Communication skills of Medical Oncologists, Development and evaluation of a computer assisted instruction program’.

He worked at the NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research) as a scientific assistant of prof. Jozien Bensing.

Since 1999 he is involved in communication training and research at the department of Medical Psychology of the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) in Amsterdam. There he continued his interest in using ICT applications in teaching and assessment of medical communication skills. He developed the Amsterdam Communication Test (ACT) according to an assessment model derived from the pyramid of Miller. In this assessment program, using standardized video vignettes the short essay questions are of three types: knowledge, understanding, skills.

In 2005 he introduced the use of ICT in the teaching of medical communication, for self-evaluation and peer-feedback. In the Bachelor program this started wih the introduction of the DiViDU system, followed in 2007 by using the Sakai digital portfolio system. In 2012 the videofragmentrating (VFR) system was pilotted in the Master program. In 2014 VFR was acquired and implemented in the Master program.

Since 2001 Robert Hulsman is member of the Admission Committee and involved in selection of students to the medical school of the AMC. Until 2008 ACT was used in the selection procedure, later replaced by personal interviews with candidates. In 2012 when he became chair of the admission committee he introduced the Multi Minimal Interviews (MMI's).
His recent interests relate to determinants of medical communication, considered as goal oriented ‘problem-solving’ behaviour.

Since 2005 Robert Hulsman is Medical Education Editor of Patient education and Counseling and in 2008 he became Associate Editor. In 2012 he became Deputy Editor-in-Chief.
He is co-editor of the 2nd edition of the Dutch handbook on Medical Psychology to be released in 2010, and responsible for chapters on medical communication, cultural diversity, professional behaviour, and medical ethics.


Since 2013 he is appointed as Principle Educator at the AMC

December 2013 ‘Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs (BKO)’ (Teaching Qualification) by the Examination Committee for Post Graduate Schooling of the University of Amsterdam


Since 2011 he is member of the NVMO Ethical Review Board
Since 2013 he became member of the Examination Board of the AMC.


1980 Highschool (VWO), Berlingh College, Beverwijk
1988 Masters Clinical Psychology; University of Amsterdam
1998 PhD, Faculty of Medicine, University of Utrecht
Dissertation: Communication skills of Medical Oncologists, Development and evaluation of a computer assisted instruction program
Promotores: prof dr. JAM Winnubst, prof. dr. JM Bensing


1988 - 1990 Scientific assistant, University of Utrecht, Department of Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology
1990 - 1991 Teaching assistant, University of Utrecht, Department of Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology
1990 - 1994 Researcher, Project: 'The Effect of a Computer-Assisted (CAI) Training Program on Communication Skills of Medical Specialists in Oncology Funding: Dutch Cancer Society (IKMN 9031); Institute: University of Utrecht, Department of Clinical Psychology and Health Psychology
1995 - 1999 Scientific assistant of the scientific manager of the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL)
1999 - present: Teacher and Researcher at the Academci Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam. Department of Medical Psychology

Educational projects

2000 - 2001: Assessment of social skills by computer ( AMC decentrale studentenselectie; meten van sociale vaardigheden per computer. Subsidie: Ministerie van Onderwijs en Wetenschappen)
2005 - 2006: Webbased assessment of social skills (Toetsing van vaardigheden met de computer. Implementatie van een webbased versie van de AMC Communicatie Toets. Subsidie: Digitale Universiteit).
2006 - 2007: DiViDossier. (Begeleiden en beoordelen van studenten. Experiment 3: Medische Communicatie en gespreksvaardigheid. Subsidie: SURF Nationaal Actieprogramma e-Learning. Penvoerder: Dr. W.F. Admiraal, ILO-Graduate School of Teaching and Learning, UvA).
2006 - 2007: Digital portfolio for monitoring professional behaviour (Ontwikkeling en beoordeling van professioneel gedrag van geneeskundestudenten. Implementatie van een digitaal portfolio in Curius, het nieuwe Geneeskunde curriculum van het AMC-UvA. UvA-ICTO subsidie).
2007 - 2008: Profolio. (Een Digitaal Portfolio voor Professioneel Gedrag in jaar 1 van Curius, het nieuwe Geneeskunde curriculum van het AMC-UvA. UvA-ICTO subsidie).
2011 - 2012: Videofragmentrating ( Tips en Tops in Beeld. Kritische momenten markeren in video-opnames van toetsgesprek-ken van coassistenten t.b.v. feedback en beoordeling. UvA-ICTO subsidie).