A Tool for the Assessment of Communication Skills  
While the effectiveness of standardized patients (SPs) used for evaluation 
and teaching communication skills has repeatedly been demonstrated, there 
are significant drawbacks to the use of this technique, including lack of 
standardization across multiple sites and both cost and time at individual 
sites. This article describes the initial validation study of the Patient 
Video Interview, an instrument created to serve as a measure of medical 
student communication skills that overcomes some of the drawbacks of SP-based 
assessments and that can be used to supplement such assessments.