Physician assistant students gain relevant, hands-on experience in the Standardized Performance Assessment Laboratory (SPAL).

Students interact with standardized patients (SPs) who are trained to play the role of actual patients.They enhance communication and diagnostic reasoning skills in a controlled environment before working with patients in clinical settings.

SPAL lets faculty assess students’ skills, attitudes and provider/patient relationships in a real-world setting. PA students have multiple Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) throughout the program.

SPAL facility

  • Student with SPAL patient12 clinical examination rooms – each equipped with a digital audio/video camera, intercom system, one-way glass for observation and two computers for faculty and SPs to complete evaluations
  • Control room – where all 12 rooms are timed, monitored and video captured
  • Rooms for post-encounter documentation and debriefing
  • Video streaming – allows students to view and critique their own encounters online while on campus
  • More than 80 standardized patients
  • More than 100 developed cases and about 5,000 student/patient encounters a year

Learn more about SPAL