The Clinical Performance Center (CPC) is a simulated clinical environment that provides opportunities for medical students to learn and practice their clinical skills. Learning is enforced through a safe environment using task simulators and Real Patients or Standardized Patients (SP). It is vital that medical students acquire essential clinical knowledge and skills in a hands-on environment. Two important elements of the acquisition of these clinical skills and knowledge are reflective practice and faculty feedback. These elements are accomplished through students’ self-reflections on selected cases, as well as faculty feedback at the end of each clinical skills session.
The 10 examination rooms of the CPC are designed to look like consultation rooms and are equipped with audio-visual recording equipment. To further optimize our students’ learning experiences, the CPC houses human patient simulators and various other task trainers. All activities conducted at the CPC are integrated with the curriculum to allow the students to apply theoretical knowledge in a realistic medical setting. One of the major uses of the CPC is to teach and assess clinical skills. History taking and communication skills are practiced and assessed using SPs while physical examination is taught and assessed through SPs, Real Patients and simulators.
“In September 2011, SMA News featured the Duke-NUS CPC and its Sim Man human patient simulator. Click here to read the whole article. (SMA News Volume 43 No.09 September 2011)”
Standardized Patients (SPs) are individuals who are carefully trained to portray patient roles. The similarity of these portrayals to real patient situations allows our students to practice interviewing patients in a very authentic environment. By using SPs rather than real patients for an assessment, every student can be assessed in a standardized encounter which increases the validity of the assessment. These simulated doctor-patient encounters are closely monitored under the guidance of Duke-NUS faculty members and are recorded for the purpose of learning and assessment. The simulated encounter is also a powerful tool for teaching and assessing the communication and procedural skills of medical students.