Completed in March of 1977, the Clinical Skills Center is the oldest of its kind in North America. Located in the Education Union, second floor, adjacent to the School of Medicine, the Center is used for the teaching and assessment of clinical skills such as history taking and physical examination. In addition to over 2,000 square feet of space, the Clinical Skills Center contains eleven examination rooms complete with exam table, sink, panoptic ophthalmascopes, sphygmomanometer, and other state of the art examination equipment. Monitoring rooms provide direct visualization via video cameras, video-taping equipment and microphones.
The Clinical Skills Center utilizes standardized patients for teaching and assessment. Standardized patients (SPs) are individuals trained to teach and assess clinical skills from the patient's perspective, giving good advice about ways to approach patients in a sensitive and compassionate manner. Using standardized patients does not replace work done with real patients during the preclinical years, but rather enhances students' skills and comfort in the clinical setting. Difficult situations such as discussing life support and dealing with angry patients can be practiced with SPs prior to confronting these situations in "real life."