Based on a review of recent key articles, this paper demonstrates that many elements of physician-patient communication can be learned successfully during medicaleducation. Methods of assessment and definition of success depend largely on the definition of teaching goals, which are usually based on the principles of a more egalitarian and non-paternalistic physician-patient communication. In this article another approach is suggested. Teaching objectives in patient-physician communication can also be deduced from the needs of clinical medicine, resulting in the following goals: students are able to gather relevant data from patients' history, they explicitly structure the consultation and the way they give information, they know how to respond to patients' emotions. The Objective Standardised Clinical Examination (OSCE) is discussed with its strengths and weaknesses. The inclusion of video-based feedback is presented as a teaching tool to improve students' self-reflection. Workplace-based assessment and Mini-CEX are promising educational tools that require a well-trained faculty, not only in the teaching and practice of communication but also in the art of giving constructive and yet honest feedback.