The AAFP recognizes the importance of medical school graduate competency in the performance of patient evaluation that includes a medical history, physical examination, and appropriate documentation. The AAFP encourages individual medical schools to evaluate students' clinical skills on a consistent basis to ensure competency. The AAFP also supports the comprehensive assessment of clinical skills through the use of standardized patient encounter simulations. If medical schools cannot consistently provide an objective assessment of clinical skills, then other resources should be used to assure graduate competence.
The US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Clinical Skills Assessment Examination and the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the US (COMLEX) Performance Evaluation should be both affordable and conveniently accessible to all medical students. Efforts should be made by the boards that administer USMLE and COMLEX to reduce test costs and other barriers that make accessing these required examinations a financial and logistical burden for students. Performance standards and consistent reproducibility of USMLE Clinical Skills Assessment Examination and COMLEX Performance Evaluations results should be updated regularly and made publicly available, along with outcomes data confirming the effectiveness of the examination’s capacity to document competence. Pass rates should not be set at certain percentages but should simply reflect the performance of the tested standards. (2010 COD) (2020 COD)