Communication skills training in undergraduate medicine.

Good communication with patients is now recognised as the cornerstone in effective medical practice. Medical students do not automatically acquire the art of good communication through clinical training. A new course to promote the development of communication skills at undergraduate level is described. The course was provided at the juncture between pre-clinical and clinical training. Course evaluation illustrated the value of the course as perceived by students themselves and highlighted the areas of greatest need for students in communication skills training.