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The purpose of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) is to connect active DOCS members who have common interests and provide for them a semi-structured environment to facilitate scholarly projects.  The hope is that these groups will gradually build expertise in their area of interest and become a resource for DOCS, its members, and the general medical education community at large.

A SIG can form in one of several ways, including: 

  1. From a call from the DOCS Executive Council or one of its standing committees

  2. From a group of collaborators facilitating a workshop at an annual meeting

  3. From a request to form such a group from an active DOCS member

  4. In response to a vibrant listserv discussion

The DOCS Executive Council must approve all official Special Interest Groups.  Current SIGs include:

Clinical Reasoning SIG:  If you have a particular interest in all things “Clinical Reasoning,” then the CR Interest Group was developed with you in mind.  Among the objectives of this group is the creation of a forum for collaboration on how best to teach as well as assess clinical reasoning in pre-clerkship curricula.  Activities to date over the last three years since its inauguration is a DOCS supported national survey on CR instruction in the clerkship (recently published) and a current manuscript on CR instruction in the clerkship (in collaboration with the Alliance for Clinical Education).  We have also started a repository for CR instructional material, have been collaborating with colleagues in Canada on pre-clerkship instruction utilizing a new assessment method, and at our most recent meeting have begun the discussion on additional scholarly work (new surveys and new methods of assessment) that may be of interest to our members.  We are looking forward to having new members join our collegial group.

For more info, contact:  Jason Waechter ( or

Clinical Skills Remediation SIG:  We are building a vibrant, collaborative community to come together and exchange ideas.  Each session begins with discussing a challenging case before a presentation from 1 to 2 group members about a topic, followed by a large group discussion.  Some topics we've touched on and look forward to expanding on include developing remediation programs in UME, remediation of clinical reasoning, professionalism, communication, and preparation for standardized tests.  Our hope is that we can work towards not only creating best practices across institutions but to also grow scholarship within the field.

For more info, contact:  Andrew Parsons ( or Ilene Rosenberg (


Clinical Skills Coaching SIG:  How does coaching fit in what you do?  Please join us to address coaching concepts and practices in UME and GME.  Whether you have expertise in coaching or are just getting started, all are welcome.  We envision this SIG to become a home for sharing best practices, workshop development, collective scholarship, and linking to national initiatives.  Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions! 

For more info, contact:  Delphine Taylor (


OSCE Note Grading SIG (Clerkship/Post-core Clerkship Note Rubric SIG):  This interest group came together after a DOCs webinar on note grading rubrics immediately after the announcement that Step 2 CS would not be coming back.  

For more info, contact:  Felise Milan ( or Lisa Bernstein (


Assessment in Clinical Skills Courses SIG:  We all know that “Assessment Drives Learning,” so come join us on the front lines of clinical skills assessment!  We are especially interested in clinical skills assessment in the Post-Step 2 CS era and in helping to circulate useful shared resources.  We would love to hear your thoughts!  

SIG leaders:

   Radha Nandagopal
   Adam Weinstein
   Rebecca Toonkel
   Sateesh Arja
   Regan Taylor


   For more info, contact:


Pre-Clerkship Patient Note Rubric SIG:   This interest group is a collaborative group of DOCS members interested in designing a note grading rubric that can be utilized by the majority of clinical skills courses to assess students’ medical documentation in the pre-clerkship phase of the curriculum.  We have spent a significant amount of time on the nuances of the medical note and identifying appropriate anchors and competency levels for the variety of learners who interface with our courses, and look forward to your participation in this work.

For more info, contact:  Listy Thomas (

Core and Clusters Physical Exam SIG:  Core + Clusters is an approach to teaching the history and physical exam from a hypothesis-driven perspective that promotes development of clinical reasoning.  This model teaches:  1) a core exam that is less overwhelming to learn and has practical utility in clinical experiences of early learners; and 2) sets of diagnostic clusters that promote clinical reasoning through application of hypothesis-driven H&P while also teaching clinical scripts.

SIG leaders:  

   Ani Gangopadhyaya

   Deepu Gowda

For more info, contact:

If you have general questions about SIGs, email the DOCS Executive Council.

Assessment SIG's checklists for history taking, communication, and physical examination skills:  The Assessment Working Group of DOCS created checklists representing the basic history and communication skills and physical exam skills of a graduating medical student.  These documents are intended to help new directors of clinical skills as they build their programs.  It is expected that programs and courses will modify these lists to suit their particular needs and curriculum.  Specific details and maneuvers in each part of the physical exam are not included - it is expected that published sources will be used to complement this document.

DOCS members - see Members' Area of our website for access to these resources.

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