Performance Assessment Center
KCOM is committed to the performance assessment of the skill development of its medical students. While this has been true since its inception, the opening of the Tinning Education Center in 1995 included a special facility that serves as the center for KCOM medical student performance assessment. The results of the performance assessment program are used to ensure student competence as well as to improve KCOM's educational program.
The objective of KCOM's performance assessment center is to provide the learning, testing, and, where necessary, remediation experiences to validate a level of clinical skill competence which is appropriate for medical students entering their postgraduate training. The KCOM campus facility is the location of learning and testing experience for students in their first two years of study and for the Missouri Region students during their clinical rotations.
The two most common formats, which are used for performance assessment, are the Objective Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) and Clinical Practice Exam (CPX) using Standardized Patients. A brief overview of these formats follows.
OSCEs are designed to test component clinical skills outside of the context of their application. Examples would be suturing a wound, taking a sexual history, applying a tourniquet, and writing a prescription. These tests are usually conducted at a series of stations which students move to and complete the required skills. While some of the OSCE stations could involve standardized patients, the distinction is the focus on specified component skills.
CPX-Standardized Patient testing
This testing involves (usually) a well person who is carefully coached to simulate accurately the case of an actual patient. The focus of this format is a clinical interaction and the resulting clinical reasoning which a student doctor uses to work up that case. Students receive feedback regarding the standardized patient's perception of their professionalism and interpersonal skills.