CPX FAQs

  1. What is the Clinical Performance Experience (CPX)?
    The CPX is an assessment of clinical and communication skills using Standardized Patient-based encounters.
  2. Who is required to take the CPX?
    All Pritzker School of Medicine third year students are required to take the CPX as part of their third year curriculum.
  3. Why have it?
    This event helps the Pritzker School of Medicine to assess the impact of its curriculum on the abilities of its students. The experience also provides the opportunity for students to do a self-assessment of their clinical skills. It provides the basis for a one-on-one feedback session between students and faculty. And finally, it is good preparation for the USMLE Step 2CS examination.
  4. Will my clerkship director excuse me to attend?
    All the clerkship directors are informed well in advance of the scheduling and will release you from clinical responsibilities for that time.
  5. What will the experience be like?
    There will be an orientation prior to the first patient encounter.  You will then have two rotations of six clinical experiences.  The experiences will either be standardized patient cases or examinations with task trainers.  For the SP cases, a Door Chart will provide the necessary information prior to each encounter. You will have fifteen minutes to perform a focused history, physical exam, and any other tasks listed on the Door Chart. After each encounter you will have seven minutes for the computerized inter-station exercise. For the task trainer cases, you will examine one or more task trainers/simulators/tracings/films and answer related questions in one or more of the 22 minute blocks.  After you have rotated through all the stations, at about 1:30, there will be a half hour lunch. (We will provide snacks at scheduled breaks, and boxed lunches.) After lunch you can review as many cases as you like, but pick one for the self-assessment, which should take about 1.5-2 hours.  You will then schedule a more structured hour-long review with a faculty member, to occur on a later date.
  6. What skills will be assessed by the CPX?
    You will be assessed on basic history-taking skills, basic maneuvers of a focused physical exam, your professional demeanor, and your communication skills.
  7. How should I prepare for the CPX?
    You can prepare for the CPX by reviewing your head-to-toe course materials and your history-taking and communication course materials. You can also visit the How to Prepare for the CPX page for a series of suggestions and exercises.
  8. What if I have not had all of my core clerkships yet?
    The cases are so general in nature that you should be able to deal with them appropriately whether you have completed all the clerkships or not.
  9. What should I wear and bring to the CPX?
    You should wear a clean white lab coat, be well groomed, and bring your basic exam tool kit.
  10. Where should I go on the day of the CPX?
    The CPX will take place at the CPC in the BSLC building, 924 E. 57th Street, Room LL012.
  11. How will the CPX be scored?
    The CPX is meant to be a formative experience, designed for you to assess your skill level and facilitate a one-on-one feedback session with a faculty member.  As a required component of the third year curriculum, to pass the CPX you must participate in all twelve of the “patient” experiences, perform the self-assessment, and meet with your assigned faculty member for the one-on-one review session.
  12. Can I discuss the CPX with my classmates afterward?
    We ask that you not discuss your experience or that of others regarding the CPX. What you hear may actually prejudice you against performing a more complete history or physical, or cause you to draw incorrect conclusions beforehand that could negatively impact your performance and score results.
  13. Who can I talk to if I have questions or comments about the CPX?
    Contact Dr. Jeanne Farnan at jfarnan@medicine.bsd.uchicago.edu, Lori Orr at lorr@bsd.uchicago.edu, or Kris Slawinski atkslawins@bsd.uchicago.edu or 773-753-0520.
  14. What is the time commitment to participate?
    You should expect to be at the CPC from 7:55 a.m. until 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. at the latest.
  15. What if I am not available for the CPX dates for which I have been assigned?
    You must coordinate a switch to another date with one of your classmates. Inform both your clerkship director to make sure you have the appropriate release from your clerkship duties, and Kris Slawinski (753-0520) to ensure we are prepared with the correct materials on your CPX date.