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Med Clin North Am. 2018 May;102(3):545-558. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2017.12.014.

Clinical Skills Assessment in the Twenty-First Century.

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Department of Acute Medicine for Older People, Edinburgh Medical School, Western General Hospital, Crewe Road, Edinburgh EH42XU, UK. Electronic address:


Clinical skills remain fundamental to the practice of medicine and form a core component of the professional identity of the physician. However, evidence exists to suggest that the practice of some clinical skills is declining, particularly in the United States. A decline in practice of any skill can lead to a decline in its teaching and assessment, with further decline in practice as a result. Consequently, assessment not only drives learning of clinical skills, but their practice. This article summarizes contemporary approaches to clinical skills assessment that, if more widely adopted, could support the maintenance and reinvigoration of bedside clinical skills.


Assessment; Clinical skills; Medical education; Physical examination

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