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About the Clinical Skills Center

The UC Irvine School of Medicine's Clinical Skills Center (CSC) provides students with a supportive approach to clinical assessment and reasoning that ultimately improves patient care.

Our mission is to enhance the medical education of students and residents through experiential learning utilizing standardized patient training, simulation and telemedicine to help produce competent, communicative, caring clinicians of strong ethical character.

View a message from Clinical Skills Center Director Sue Ahearn ›

High-tech training environment

Clinical Skills Center, layoutThe Clinical Skills Center was developed to teach and assess the clinical skills of medical students, residents and physicians in an environment that simulates the clinical setting. It occupies the second floor of the Medical Education Building on the university campus in Irvine.

The $40-million, 65,000-square foot center incorporates innovations in interactive medical instructional technology with 17 patient rooms. Three of the patient rooms are designed to simulate acute-care settings, including a head wall equipped with gases and suction devices.

All patient rooms are equipped with cameras, microphones, laptops and bedside ultrasound machines. This allows faculty to remotely view students' performance and allow students to review their work with faculty and center staff.

We also have a clinical skills laboratory, a faculty development conference center and separate waiting areas for students and standardized patients. The most recent innovation is the integration of telemedicine for teaching physical exams to large groups in distant settings.

Standardized Patient Program

CSC’s core activities revolve around the Standardized Patient Program to develop skills in physical exams, communication, taking patient histories and other aspects of clinical practice. The program allows students to work with individuals trained to portray patients, family members or others, and it is integrated across all four years of medical education.

Students in UC Irvine’s graduate nursing and resident programs also participate in CSC’s Standardized Patient sessions.

In addition, CSC works closely with the Ultrasound Center, which offers hands-on learning experiences in bedside ultrasound. CSC helps in the assessment of students’ progress in mastering ultrasound skills.

CSC programs also incorporate the School of Medicine’s iMedEd Initiative, which offers students Apple iPads to facilitate technologically advanced medical education and practice. At the center, students use iPads to video-chat with standardized patients and to teach them using DrawMD — an iPad program — during exam scenarios.