Clinical Skills Center

The Clinical Skills Center (CSC) is a state-of-the-art facility with a controlled environment for teaching, observing, and assessing a variety of healthcare related skills. For many years, evaluation of medical students consisted of standardized examinations and clinical assessment by faculty and residents. Although clinical examinations are helpful in providing information to students on a day-to-day basis with regard to the quality of a student's work, the subjective nature and lack of standardization have made clinical evaluations a less than reliable and valid method of assessing clinical proficiency. The introduction of the Objective Structure Clinical Examination (OSCE) was developed to provide an objective evaluation of clinical proficiency. Specifically, the OSCE provides students the opportunity to properly assess their clinical skills, provide feedback from faculty, and if needed, remediation prior to graduation. The length of the OSCE can vary depending on the type of OSCE being carried out for a particular clerkship. The scenarios are designed to test basic knowledge of history-taking, physical examination, and communications skills. Students are expected to treat each clinical encounter as if it were real. Each standardized patient has been specially trained to portray a specific character, and must do so in a standardized way for all students. Every character has a unique background, life circumstances and health issues.

The OSCE is used in all four years of medical school. The American Association of Medical Colleges and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education has directed that the OSCE be included in all medical school curricula.

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