The Robert Berger, DO Clinical Learning and Assessment
Center gives students the opportunity to practice clinical
skills, develop crucial communication skills and demonstrate
that they have achieved clinical competence. Through the use
of standardized patients and a human patient simulator, the
Center allows students to practice with patients in a supportive
environment prior to treating real patients. Patient conditions
and problems can be developed and altered to suit educational
objectives and allow students to successfully and confidently
transition into practice. Medical, physician assistant and
psychology students all use the program, amounting to over
1,100 students a year participating in the program.
The driving force behind the standardized patient program
was the late Robert Berger, DO ’58, associate dean for
undergraduate medical education and chairman of pediatrics.
He passionately believed in humanizing the doctor-patient
relationship and believed that tomorrow’s physicians
would have to be expert communicators.
Dr. Berger launched PCOM’s standardized patient program
in the late 1980s with fourth-year students and residents
serving as "patient-actors" for second-year students.
A pilot study for the program, based on a model from the Medical
College of Pennsylvania, was conducted in 1990. The standardized
patient program in the Clinical Learning and Assessment Center
began in 1993 under the direction of Dr. Berger, Jeffrey Freeman,
DO, divisional chairman, endocrinology, and Tony Errichetti,
PhD, director of the program.
Learn More About:
Human Patient Simulator