Osteopathic medicine students gain relevant, hands-on experience in the Standardized Performance Assessment Laboratory (SPAL).
SPAL uses simulated patients who are trained and compensated to play the role of actual patients. These patients give students the opportunity to practice communication skills and be assessed on their clinical skills in a controlled environment.
SPAL lets faculty assess students’ skills, attitudes and provider/patient relationships in a real-world setting.
First-year D.O. students have four SPAL practicals, second-year D.O. students have ten SPAL practicals and third-year D.O. students have a clinical skills evaluation.
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I greatly appreciate this experience. My skills were definitely enhanced, and I am confident they will be helpful in the clinical years. I do not know of any other experience that would have better prepared me for the next two years. The SPAL lab is one of the most valuable pieces of my medical education. It allowed me to put into practice the things I have read in texts and seen in shadowing experiences. Thank you so much for all of your hard work.
I am completely satisfied with the quality of this program and how it has prepared me for rotations. This is a model to all physical diagnosis programs. Thank you to all those who made this experience possible. Excellent learning tool. I hope this will be carried on into the future.