Background: Evidence suggests that effective physician communication strongly correlates with patient satisfaction and treatment outcome. Unfortunately, teaching these skills has been challenging because of 2 major barriers: (a) medical students are often too preoccupied with the technical and scientific aspects of their curriculum, and (b) it is difficult to expand curricular time. Description: To overcome these barriers, an educational intervention that has not required additional classroom time was implemented. This first-year preceptorship focused on improving data gathering and interpersonal/communication skills. Evaluation: Analysis of the data for the 2 test groups revealed that interpersonal and communication skills were modestly higher in the preceptorship group. There was no significant difference in data collection in each of the two groups. Conclusions: Combining formal communication skills instruction with an early clinical experience may prove to be the most effective approach to improving interpersonal, communication, and data gathering skills.