Assessing interpersonal and communication skills in emergency medicine

Acad Emerg Med. 2012 Dec;19(12):1390-402. doi: 10.1111/acem.12030.


Interpersonal and communication skills (ICS) are a key component of several competency-based schemata and key competency in the set of six Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) core competencies. With the shift toward a competency-based educational framework, the importance of robust learner assessment becomes paramount. The journal Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM) hosted a consensus conference to discuss education research in emergency medicine (EM). This article summarizes the initial preparatory research that was conducted to brief consensus conference attendees and reports the results of the consensus conference breakout session as it pertains to ICS assessment of learners. The goals of this consensus conference session were to twofold: 1) to determine the state of assessment of observable learner performance and 2) to determine a research agenda within the ICS field for medical educators. The working group identified six key recommendations for medical educators and researchers.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Communication
  • Consensus Development Conferences as Topic*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards*
  • Educational Measurement / methods*
  • Emergency Medicine / education*
  • Emergency Medicine / standards
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency
  • Personality Assessment*
  • Physician-Patient Relations