The basic science and clinical faculty at XUSOM have identified competency in communication as a critical clinical skill that students must develop during medical school. As part of our educational program, communication skills are a major outcome objective that defines a graduate of XUSOM. In addition, the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine (CAAM-HP), the New York State Education Department and the US Department of Education all require formal training and assessment in communication skills throughout medical school. Lastly, USMLE Step 2 CS is, to a great extent, a measure of communication skill.
Formal training of communication skills starts in the basic science terms. On clinical rotations extensive but informal exposure to communication skills occurs as students listen to residents and senior physicians. While this educational experience has major advantages, it lacks structure and thoroughness, is difficult to evaluate and does not meet accreditation requirements.