Medical communication has received much attention over the past few decades. There is an increasing demand on doctors to be more effective communicators, especially when dealing with patients and their caregivers. Doctors can be trained to become better communicators and such training has other benefits for doctors. While modern undergraduate curricula allocate much time for effective communication, its emphasis during postgraduate training appears to be insufficient. In this paper, basic principles of effective communication in medical practice will be discussed and some special communication situations highlighted. Teaching-learning methods of communication skills will be discussed, with attention to some of the methods used in Sri Lanka and areas that need improvement. The use of standardized patients in communication skills training will be elaborated. More appropriate assessment methods will be discussed in the light of what is advocated by experts in the field.