We describe the teaching programme in ethics, law and communication skills for clinical medical students which is being developed as part of the Oxford Practice Skills Project. These three elements of practice are approached in an integrated teaching programme which aims to address everyday clinical practice. The role of a central value of patient-centred health care in guiding the teaching is described. Although the final aim of the teaching is to improve actual practice, we have found three 'sub-aims' helpful in the development of the programme. These sub-aims are: increasing students' awareness of ethical issues; enhancing their analytical thinking skills, and teaching specific knowledge.
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