Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Medical Education

Clinical Education Center

The Clinical Education Center (CEC) is committed to training skilled, compassionate and effective physicians and healthcare providers.

The center trains healthcare providers in a wide array of clinical competencies, such as communication, history taking, physical examination, counseling, clinical reasoning and patient safety and advocacy.

Much of this training involves the opportunity to work with standardized patients (SPs). Many of the SPs are actors working off scripts from previously provided cases. They are trained to portray patients in a realistic and consistent manner and to reliably assess participants' clinical skills performances. At the end of a session, SPs provide written or verbal feedback to help participants improve their communication skills.

Our Participants

Each year, the center works with more than 1,200 healthcare providers. Participants are primarily Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine medical students, but also include resident physicians and students in our physical therapy, physician assistant and genetic counseling programs. The facility is also occasionally leased to private physician groups for training events.

The CEC also has exam task trainers available to train participants on performing ear, breast, pelvic and male urological exams.

Our Facilities

The CEC facility consists of 14 examination rooms that are connected to a digital video recording system. The majority of the rooms have two video cameras and a microphone, which connect to a observation room. In addition, there are three seminar rooms, a computer lab, a video viewing room for participants, faculty viewing stations, a technical skills laboratory that houses a computer-based cardiac simulator named Harvey and a designated SP training room.