Completed in the fall of 2009, the Ruth L. Gottesman Clinical Skills Center (CSC) was built to meet the educational needs of Einstein’s medical school students as a resource for the teaching and assessment of clinical skills. Throughout their education, physicians-in-training need a safe and supportive environment to learn, practice, and receive feedback on the clinical skills so essential to the practice of medicine.
The CSC serves as home for the Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) and Patients Doctors and Communities (PDC) programs.
ICM consists of three separate courses taught during the first two years of medical school.
Year 1 – The first year of the ICM program consists of three modules: Communication, the Physical Exam, and the Clinical Experience. Students meet weekly in small groups with two faculty preceptors in the CSC to learn and practice medical interviewing and interpersonal / communication skills with both volunteer patients and simulated patients (actors portraying cases). The Communication module covers many aspects of doctor patient relationship and communication. In the Physical Exam module, students participate in workshops and learn fundamental physical examination techniques. Students have an opportunity to practice their medical interviewing and physical examination techniques through preceptor clinical placements in the community during the Clinical Experience Module.
Year 2 – In the second year course ICM: The Clinical Examination, students continue to learn more advanced physical examination techniques and incorporate physical diagnosis skills and clinical reasoning into their learning. Throughout the year there are workshops on a variety of special skills in the CSC, including IV Access and Blood Drawing, Cardiology-Heart Sounds, Breast, Pelvic and Male GU examinations, Stress Reduction Workshop. The students also work with Pediatric and Geriatric populations.
Year 3 – Patients, Doctors, and Community (PDC) meets every 6 - 8 weeks throughout the clinical clerkship year. Students come to the CSC from their clinical sites to meet in small groups with their faculty preceptor pairs and address difficult situations encountered in their clinical settings. The students also practice more advanced communication skills such as delivering bad news and informed consent.
Simulated and Standardized Patients
As part of Einstein’s mission to educate and assess the skills of medical students, the faculty collaborates with professionally trained actors for both formative teaching sessions (simulated patients) as well as clinical skills assessments (standardized patients). These highly trained professionals assist Einstein faculty in ICM, several other courses, and third year clinical clerkships.
During their third year clerkship in Medicine, students participate in an innovative educational experience called a Group Observed Structured Clinical Exam (GOSCE), where students work together to address patients’ medical problems.
Three other clerkships, Family Medicine, Geriatrics, and Pediatrics, use individual OSCE’s with simulated patients that enable students to gain experience in situations specific to each of these disciplines.
The largest OSCE at the Clinical Skills Center is the clinical skills assessment (CSA) exam, which all Einstein students must take at the end of their third year. This exam is similar in design to the USMLE Step 2 CS exam, and covers content areas in all the major clerkships. In addition to a diagnostic challenge, each case also includes a psychosocial component, which poses an interpersonal or communication challenge.
In addition to the courses and clinical assessment programs described here, the Ruth L. Gottesman Clinical Skills Center hosts multiple programs and special events throughout the year for the Einstein community.
Belfer Educational Center for Health Sciences offers instructional laboratories and conference rooms, all fully equipped with multimedia digital data projectors and computers connected to the College of Medicine network. Except when in use for classes, these rooms are available to students for use as study areas.
D. Samuel Gottesman Library has a collection of about 220,000 volumes, 1800 electronic books, 5600 electronic journal titles, and 124 electronic databases. These e-resources may be accessed directly by computer on or off campus. Located on the first floor of the Forchheimer building, the library space also includes a 24/7 study room, group study rooms and a quiet room.