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Seven years' experience in teaching communication skills to first year clinical students at St Mary's Hospital School of Medicine is described. The first component consists of a day during the introductory clinical course; this is divided into a lecture and small seminar groups and involves behavioural scientists and clinicians from many departments. The second component uses simulated patients and video feedback and takes place in small groups later in the year. Participation of the students through active critical discussion, role play, and interactive video feedback are important aspects in the success of the course. The methods have been refined through evaluation by students and tutors. This article aims to allow others, already running or considering such a course, to develop effective courses within the practical constraints of their own institutions.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1322 - 1327


Clinical Competence, Communication, Education, Medical, Undergraduate, Feedback, Group Processes, Humans, Teaching, United Kingdom, Video Recording