Center for Clinical Skills

The Center for Clinical Skills (CCS) supports the University of Hawai'i School of Medicine's mission to educate and train knowledgeable, competent and caring physicians by developing and implementing innovative educational experiences aimed at teaching and evaluating the bedside patient care skills of history taking, physical examination, interpersonal communication and counseling.

Since 1989, the Center for Clinical Skills (formerly known as the Office of Standardized Patients) has enlisted the help of volunteers from the community who serve as "Standardized Patients". They assist in the teaching and evaluation of students at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. These volunteers are carefully trained to portray patients with illnesses in a realistic and reproducible manner and are examined by medical students who are learning or being evaluated on their ability to interact with patients.

Educational experiences that provide early exposure to live patients for freshman and sophomore medical students have become a vital part of the medical school's Problem-Based Learning Curriculum.

Standardized Patients are trained to assess and provide feedback to students, faculty and the medical school regarding a student's bedside clinical skills.

Today, the Center utilizes the talents of over 200 volunteers from all sectors of the community who give of themselves in this worthwhile endeavor. Medical students at all levels are evaluated by Standardized Patients. Students and residents from Asia are also drawn to the medical school's externship program because of our Standardized Patient experiences.

In addition to developing, coordinating and implementing teaching and assessment activities with Standardized Patients, the Center is actively involved in creating new educational tools for faculty to utilize. These tools include instructional videotapes and digital video clips that are used to illustrate physician-patient interactions or proper physical examination technique.

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