Background: This article describes the results of a retrospective study of
3 classes of medical students who participated in a targeted occupational a
nd environmental health curriculum at the University of Connecticut School
Purpose: We wanted to determine if targeted focused curricular intervention
s which integrated occupational and environmental health principles into ro
utine history taking would result in increased scores on the number of ques
tions posed during the Clinical Skills Assessment Program in the 4th year.
Methods: We analyzed Clinical Skills Assessment Program questions for 3 gra
duating medical school classes from 1997 to 1999.
Results: it appears that intense, focused training may increase the occupat
ional and environmental questions which students ask. By revisiting the com
ponents of the history during the 3rd year the final assessment of 4th-year
students substantially and significantly increased.
Conclusions: Those who wish to stem the decline in history-taking skills as
students enter their clinical years should consider reinforcing these skil
ls using structured programs and practice in areas of the history that are
traditionally neglected bur recognized as essential in gathering comprehens
ive data on patients. Copyright (C) 2001 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, In