Clinical Performance Center

Clinical Performance Center Mission

The purpose of the Clinical Performance Center is to enhance the training of medical students, residents, and physicians at the University of Chicago, by offering a controlled, supportive, and evaluative environment. Use of medical simulation allows University of Chicago to stay at the forefront of healthcare education as well as to develop the gold standard in patient care and medical training.

Use of CPC in Pritzker Curriculum

The University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine utilizes simulated and standardized patients in all aspects of the Clinical Skills course sequence, for teaching and assessing communication and physical exam skills. The CPC also provides a safe and protected environment for experiences that combine both patient encounters as well as simulation equipment for teaching and assessment.

The Clinical Skills course in the first year of the curriculum makes use of both actual and trained patients for the introduction of history taking skills, sensitive communication topics, physical exam skills, and patient assessment. Learning takes place in a variety of settings, including small groups, workshops, one-on-one patient encounters, and faculty developed assessments, in the CPC as well as the Medical Center.

In the Physical Diagnosis Course in the second year curriculum, students participate in patient encounters dealing with geriatric patient issues, cross cultural communication, and advanced communication topics, while receiving direct feedback from faculty members as well as the standardized patients. Students advance their physical exam skills in small groups with fourth year Peer Educators as well as with standardized patients as practical instructors, and complete a Head-To-Toe final assessment with the standardized patients. Finally, students are assessed by combining interview and physical exam skills in patient encounters.

Currently, students participate in clerkship Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, or OSCEs, demonstrating what they have learned in the Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Psychiatry and Surgery clerkships while being assessed in a controlled environment. At the end of the third year, all students participate in the Clinical Performance Experience (CPX), which includes eight standardized patient cases and four skills stations with task trainers to assess clinical skills. The CPX is modeled after the USMLE Step II Clinical Skills exam, but also includes personal feedback to the learner.  

In the fourth year, students have the opportunity to participate in programs designed to facilitate their transition to the internship year, including a simulated hand-off experience and an end of life and pain management session. Electives held at the CPC include Advanced Communication and Advanced Physical Diagnosis.

Faculty development programs include Observed Structured Teaching Exercises, or OSTEs, such as Becoming a Resident Teacher and Residents-as-Teachers, designed to increase teaching doctors’ effectiveness with student and resident education and feedback.

  • 9 exam rooms for teaching sessions and student-patient encounters, all equipped with recording cameras and desktop computers for assessing encounters
  • HARVEY cardiac patient simulator, with 27 possible disease state manifestations.
  • B Line AV system, an online video capture and objective assessment tool.  A reporting function allows faculty members to filter and extract data on projects and events which can then be translated to research opportunities.
  • Partial task trainers, including breast, pelvic, and prostate exam
  • Portable heart and lung sounds replication devices
  • Automated audience response system
  • Classroom and digital projector for didactic sessions
  • Video filming equipment and videographer for educational film production
  • Schedule a Tour of the CPC. Please plan ahead and allow at least a week to request a tour. 
  • Request the CPC for an event. Please allow six to nine months to launch a new event.


If you are interested in becoming a standardized patient at the University of Chicago, please complete the Standardized Patient Application Form

Click here to learn how the CPX works; How to Prepare; and FAQs.

Jenna Ford Jackson, MLA
Standardized Patient Trainer/Standardized Patient Program Coordinator