Clinical Skills

The Clinical Skills Course spans the first eighteen months of school for all medical students. Students begin to develop and refine their clinical skills, the essential elements of “doctoring” that physicians use during patient encounters. In Clinical Skills (CS), students learn to communicate with patients, families, and other members of the care team; examine patients; develop clinical reasoning skills; and understand the important role of a student-doctor in a patient’s care. Students are also introduced to point-of-care ultrasound. Multiple teaching modalities are utilized in CS, but the bulk of the experiences are designed to be hands-on, offering students the opportunity to develop clinical skills with direct faculty observation and feedback, frequently with the use of standardized patients. Throughout CS, emphasis is placed on taking a patient-centered approach to care. Students pass the course by attending all class sessions (attendance is mandatory) and performing a competent history and physical exam in a standardized assessment session at UConn. Course content is practiced and supplemented in the Interprofessional Longitudinal Clinical Experience (ILCE) and the Medical Coaching Experience (MCE). The Clinical Skills Program continues through the four-year curriculum with more advanced topics during the clerkship and elective years. 

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Jaideep Talwalkar, MD, Director of Clinical Skills Program 

Tracy Yale, MA, Manager of Clinical Skills Program 

Joseph Donroe, MD, Director of Physical Examination Michael Green, Director of Clinical Skills Assessment 

Peter Ellis, MD, MPH, Director of Biopsychosocial Approach to Health - Primary Care Psychiatry Clerkship

Matthew Ellman, MD, Director of End of Life Skills 

Auguste Fortin VI, MD, Director of Communication Skills

Paul Kirwin, MD, Director of Psychosocial Communication 

Rachel Liu, MD, Director of Point of Care Ultrasound

Andres Martin, MD, Director of Standardized Patient Program 

Thilan Wijesekera, MD, MHS, Director of Clinical Reasoning

Kirsten Wilkins, MD, Director of Interprofessional Longitudinal Clinical Experience

Barry Wu, MD, Director of Medical Coaching Program

Director of Clinical Skills


Jaideep Talwalkar, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics in the Department of General Medicine. He also serves as the Director of Clinical Skills at the Yale School of Medicine.