Clinical Skills Evaluation

The art of mastering clinical skills is the very essence of medicine and the art of healing. The Clinical Skills Evaluation group (CSE) of the Office of Medical Education (OME) helps various UT Southwestern Medical Center departments develop examinations to assess the clinical skills performance of students. 

A unique assessment is achieved with the use of standardized patients (SPs), which provide a consistent, reproducible presentation of a clinical case. The well-trained SPs can either assess performance or teach students clinical skills. These hands-on tests surpass the usual paper and pencil tests. 

The practice of using standardized patients as teachers and evaluators has been in place at UT Southwestern for more than 15 years. A large cadre of patients has been assembled to provide a variety of possible situations.

The CSE group develops:

  • Follow-on written test items
  • Patient scripts
  • Patient training materials
  • Performance evaluation criteria

The SP format has been designed as small group presentations, full-class presentations, teaching clinic presentations, pre-clerkship survey of skills, post-clerkship mastery of skills, residency clinical competence assessment, and end-of-year clinical skills assessment.