Purpose: We needed specific strategies for students in diverse outpatient settings to more uniformly learn focused history and physical exam skills. Methods: We conducted a randomized control trial to test the use of focused history and physical exam scripts in enhancing 3rd-year medical students' clinical skills at two medical schools. The article based scripts outlined focused outpatient encounters. The outcome measure was blinded analysis of progress notes using a standardized scale. Descriptive statistics were used to assess differences among student in each school, and study groups were compared using a t test. Results: Five of 11 variables were statistically higher in the scripts group. These included history taking, physical examination, and overall score. Conclusion: Focus Scripts facilitated a specific task of learning to document focused evaluations in acute and chronic office visits.
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