Acad Med. 2021 Jun 22. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000004216. Online ahead of print.
In this Invited Commentary, the authors explore the implications of the dissolution of the Step 2 Clinical Skills Examination (Step 2 CS) for medical student clinical skills assessment. The authors describe the need for medical educators (at both the undergraduate and graduate level) to work collaboratively to improve medical student clinical skills assessment in order to assure the public that medical school graduates have the requisite skills to begin residency training. The authors outline 6 specific recommendations for how to capitalize on the discontinuation of Step 2 CS to improve clinical skills assessment: (1) defining national, end-of-clerkship and transition-to-residency standards for required clinical skills and for levels of competence; (2) creating a national resource for standardized patient, augmented reality, and virtual reality assessments; (3) improving workplace-based assessment through local collaborations and national resources; (4) improving learner engagement in and coproduction of assessments; (5) requiring, as a new standard for accreditation, medical schools to establish and maintain competency committees; and (6) establishing a national registry of assessment data for research and evaluation. Together, these actions will help the medical education community earn the public's trust by enhancing the rigor of assessment to ensure the mastery of skills that are essential to providing safe, high-quality care for patients.