Clinical Skills & Simulation Center

Medical education is increasingly focused on achieving competency in clinical skills and diagnostic reasoning, emphasizing approaches that enhance patient safety and the quality of care. Simulation training is an essential link between medical student training and clinical experience and has proven to be an effective tool for assessing technical skills, critical thinking, and team-orientated behavior throughout medical training.

TUSM’s Clinical Skills and Medical Simulation Center (CSSC) is a 9,000-square-foot training facility that contains three simulation rooms with state-of-the-art computerized mannequins that display symptoms and distress the same way real patients do: dilated pupils, low heart rate, coughing, and sweating. The mannequins allow students the chance to practice procedures such as putting in a blood line or intubation before trying it on a human patient. In addition to the simulation rooms there are 12 patient exam rooms where students can practice taking medical histories and refine their bedside manner with standardized patient-actors. Each room is fully wired for audio and video, so faculty members are able to watch students’ performances from central control rooms and provide post-procedural training in a debriefing session.

Medical simulation is applicable throughout all four years of medical education, postgraduate residency training, and continuing education. Simulation starts with the basics of CPR, advanced life support, with increasing complexity as the student learns to manage complex medical problems. Tufts is unique in offering state of the art training at a network of simulation centers. Simulation Centers at TUSM Affiliates:

Physical Diagnosis Training

Training in physical diagnosis starts in the fall of first year with the Physical Diagnosis Course. This six-month course combines didactic instruction with weekly hands on training sessions in the CSSC. Extensive use is made of task trainers (mannequins and computer based learning tools) to teach normal and abnormal physical findings and standardized patients.

Standardized Patient Program

Standardized patients, actors who realistically portray patients with a wide array of medical problems, are used to train and to assess student competence in clinical skills. Each year more than 3000 student-standardized patient encounters are hosted at the CSSC. Students interview and/or examine standardized patients in the following courses/experiences: Medical Interviewing and the Doctor Patient Relationship; Physical Diagnosis, Introduction to Clinical Reasoning; Competency based Apprenticeship in Primary Care, Family Medicine Clerkship, and the end of third year assessment OSCE (objective structured clinical examination).

CSSC Contact Info:

Tufts University School of Medicine
35 Kneeland Street, 3rd floor
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-636-2401
Fax: 617-636-3488

Brien Barnewolt, MD email
Director, Clinical Skills and Simulation Center

Jesse Rideout, MD email
Director of Simulation Education

Christopher McNeal email
Medical Simulation Specialist
617-636-0852

Staff Contact Info:

Donna Merrick email
Director of Clinical Skills and Special Programs
617-636-2401

Kasia Michalek email
Administrative Coordinator - PBL, Selectives, Special Programs and Scheduling
617-636-2400

Michael Bonofiglio email
Administrative Coordinator - Clinical Skills and Special Programs
617-636-6513

Christine Griffin email
Administrative Coordinator for Evaluation
617-636-6541