This article examines uses and characteristics of the SEGUE Framework, a research-based checklist of medical communication tasks. A recent survey of US and Canadian medical schools indicates that the SEGUE Framework is the most widely used structure for communication skills teaching and assessment in North America. Student and faculty response to the SEGUE Framework as a teaching tool has been positive. Data drawn from clinical skills assessments with standardized patients provide evidence of concurrent and construct validity. Analysis of visits between general internists and their patients reinforces validity of the SEGUE Framework in an actual practice setting. Interrater reliability is high when standardized patients are recording student performance immediately after a live encounter, and when coders are evaluating videotaped or audiotaped encounters; intrarater reliability is strong as well. The SEGUE Framework has a high degree of acceptability, can be used reliably, has evidence of validity, and is applicable to a variety of contexts. Studies of predictive validity are needed.