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Introduction to clinical medicine: A time for consensus and integration

      Most physicians and medical educators would agree that basic clinical skills are critical to physician medical decision-making. However, even with initiation of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination in 2004, there is little spoken consensus or dialogue among medical schools concerning the delivery of curriculum on clinical skills, the existence of agreed upon standards, or even organized discussion about standards.
      • Papadakis M.A.
      The step 2 clinical-skills examination.
      The manner in which medical students learn clinical skills is widely varied, and the acquisition of the skills is evaluated in a variety of ways, from written and multiple-choice exams to standardized patient/simulation-based performance exams. This commentary provides background information about the current status of clinical skills courses in U.S. medical schools, and proposes that the time has come for greater consensus on the clinical skills curriculum across medical schools, integration and collaboration of the curriculum with the basic science courses as well as the clinical clerkships within medical schools, and meaningful outcome measures to determine success in meeting these goals.
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