The Clinical Skills Laboratory (CSL) is an excellent facility. It has the state of the art in equipment, anatomical models, electronic simulators, and four modules for conducting standardized patient encounters. The later are furnished with the basic equipment required for interviewing and physical examination among others. The video cameras and microphones installed in each room allow for recording sound and video, which can be played back in the adjacent media room. An intercom system allows for calling a time out when needed during a SP exercise. On the other hand, the simulators and anatomical models allows medical students to practice basic skills such as recognizing cardiac sounds (normal and pathologic), suturing, central and peripheral vein access, pelvic exam, and prostate exam, just to name a few, prior to entering the clinical setting. These learning experiences are planned and supervised by faculty or proctors of the different clinical departments with the administrative support from the Curriculum Office. Although the CSL will primarily offer training to medical students, residents, faculty and any other health related professionals may use the CSL for the development of new skills or refinement of those previously acquired. Among the available equipment, the one related to CPR (basic and advanced), deserves special attention. This equipment and facilities constitutes one of the most modern in the Medical Sciences Campus. For the first time in our school, all medical students are certified in basic CPR during their first year of training. In this endeavor, the CSL has received enthusiastic support from the Department of Anesthesiology. The laboratory is located in the basement of the School of Medicine building. This facility is under the administrative supervision of the Curriculum Office. A faculty committee, presided by Dr. Luis J. Rodriguez (Family Medicine Department) is in charge of advising, establish standards and procedures, train faculty, and program the use of the CSL in coordination with course directors. The committee is also responsible of evaluating the impact of the CSL in the MD program. Future development of the CSL includes the design and implementation of two Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) for medical students. One OSCE will be offered at the end of the second year which will test student’s ability to take a history and physical, to exhibit universal safety practices, and other related clinical skills. A second clinical competency test will be designed and offered to students prior to graduation.
Specific Objectives The Clinical Skills Laboratory will:
- Provide the means to clinical faculty to offer medical students a variety of learning experiences for the development and refinement of clinical skills as specified by each course coordinator and the Curriculum Committee. Promote the use of OSCE and standard patients for teaching and testing. Provide advice and training to faculty on the design and implementation of standardized patients. It will also provide such support on the use of OSCE. Advise faculty and the Curriculum Committee on the design, administration, and appropriate analysis of the two clinical competency tests (at the end of second year and prior to graduation) that will be offered to medical students.
Conducts research on issues such as: the impact of the CSL in the MD curriculum; student clinical performance in clinical clerkships, student satisfaction, etc.
STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES: CLINICAL SKILLS LABORATORY
I. Policy on how to use the laboratory A. Who is entitled to use the laboratory?
- Medical students (MSC-UPR School of Medicine) Residents Faculty
- Others – Students and faculty from other schools of the Medical Sciences Campus upon evaluation and approval.
B. How to request the use of the facilities?
The faculty interested in the use of the CSL will submit a written request through the Curriculum Office (See Appendix #1)
C. Who supervises the students in the laboratory experience?
- The faculty in charge of the laboratory experience will conduct and supervise the activity.
- He/she will be responsible for the proper use of the facility, equipment and materials, and
- The proper behavior of the participants.
D. How to request new equipment for the laboratory?
If the faculty deems necessary any other equipment for the experience, he/she will submit a written request to the Curriculum Office (See Appendix 2).
- Medical students will have priority to use the laboratory