BACKGROUND: Information about brain stem death and donation can be influence the consent rate for donation and its psychosocial effects. The aim of this study was to create a "VIDEO" model that could be used to help physicians to develop communication skills. METHODS: A video recorded 32 simulations of family interviews: 16 under-age and 16 adult donors. They were analyzed during 8 courses conducted in 2008 and 2009. During the VIDEO process, the visual presentation was followed by participants (n=192) discussing interactively the donation situation. After the transcription of the video records, family interviews were explored retrospectively regarding informing relatives about brain stem death and donation, typical communication gaps and common questions from families. The data were examined qualitatively and semiquantitatively. We think that teaching can be optimized by our results. RESULTS: A comprehensible explanation about brain stem death was provided to relatives in 65.63% of cases. The consent of the family was more important for the physicians than the application of the law in 93.75%; 78.13% of physicians emphasized altruism to support donation. Remarkable mistakes of communication included using the teams coma and brain stem death interchangeably (9.38%); applying expressions connected with life in the present tense (21.88%) and mechanically kept alive (21.88%); organ-focused behavior such as "organs to be usable" (34.38%). The frequent questions and statements of "relatives" were "heart beats" (100%), "did he really die?" (65.63%), "fear of loss of integrity of the corpse" (59.38%), and "wake up from the coma" (46.88%). DISCUSSION: Interaction with the family requires great preparation. The communication skills of physicians can be developed through the VIDEO model. The results can be integrated into educational programs that consider the particular features of the given country.