Clinical Skills and Simulation Center Pilots Virtual Standardized Patient Assessments
The adage, “The show must go on,” rings true for many circumstances but it is especially true for providing clinical skills education to medical students.
The staff of the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center (CSSC) at New York Medical College has successfully answered this challenge by piloting virtual standardized patient assessments for most of the School of Medicine (SOM) clerkships as well as for the pre-clinical years through a combination of platforms including Zoom and LearningSpace. These sessions have seamlessly provided a collaborative experience for students to continue to hone their clinical skills for conducting the patient interview, exhibiting strong interpersonal communication skills, strengthening clinical reasoning and utilizing best practices for clinical documentation. “This is also a great opportunity and a robust method for teaching students how to navigate telemedicine,” said Katharine Yamulla, M.A., CHSE, senior director of competency-based assessment and clinical skills education and director of the CSSC. “Moreover, the team-based approach to clinical reasoning discussions has been appreciated by students, faculty and standardized patients alike.”
It was the collaborative talents of faculty, staff and the SOM Learning to Teach students (fourth- years who are in a teaching track) who made the virtual clinical skills assessments come to fruition. The CSSC was one of the first clinical skills programs in the northeast to develop these cutting-edge programs, according to Ms. Yamulla. The CSSC staff continues to find additional ways to subsidize clinical learning at a time when students need it the most.
The CSSC was also pleased to be able to donate personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 respirator masks, to help those on the COVID-19 front line at Westchester Medical Center.