Background: Recent data do not exist on medical students' performance of and attitudes toward procedural and interpretive skills deemed important by medical educators. Method: A total of 171 medical students at seven medical schools were surveyed regarding frequency of performance, selfconfidence, and perceived importance of 21 procedural and interpretive skills. Results: Of the 122 responding students (71% response rate), a majority had never performed lumbar puncture, thoracentesis, paracentesis, or blood culture, and students reported lowest self-confidence in these skills. At least one-quarter of students had never performed phlebotomy, peripheral intravenous catheter insertion, or arterial blood sampling. Students perceived all 21 skills as important to learn and perform during medical school. Conclusion: Through the third year of medical school, a majority of students had never performed important procedures, and a substantial minority had not performed basic procedures. Students had low selfconfidence in skills they rarely performed, but perceived all skills surveyed as important.
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