What types of skills are evaluated?
The CPX evaluates both clinical and interpersonal skills. Five types of skills are assessed:
- clinical reasoning
- patient education
- history taking
- interpersonal relations
- physician examination
In what ways will I be expected to demonstrate these skills?
The standardized patients used in the CPX have been specially trained to portray a 'case', or a character, and to do so in a standardized way for all students. The character is a certain age, and has an unique background, life circumstances, and health issues.
The standardized patients undergo extensive training to learn how to accurately and realistically portray their cases, and to evaluate your performance. They simulate real symptoms and real-life situations. So please treat them as you would in a real clinical environment.
The information you receive at the patient's door (see sample case) will include the patient's name, some demographic data, the presenting complaint, and the setting for the encounter (clinic, ER, hospital). Using this information you will plan what you want to ask the patient, and what you want to do once you enter the room.
How will I be evaluated?
You will be the only person in the room with your patient. There are cameras in the rooms, but you should not detect them. They are there so that we can monitor the performance of the patients and verify their accuracy. There is not sufficient time to watch all students' encounters during the exam.
Your performance is recorded and scored by the patients against criteria established by clinical faculty. The patients do not know how the cases are scored, but are trained to know the proper interview and physical exam techniques. Other scores are based on notes and information that you complete following your encounter with the patient.
The patient provides information about your general performance by answering questions on the computer. Other information unique to each individual case is also evaluated by the patient.
Faculty may be present to observe and assess the examination, but they do not participate in evaluating your performance.