The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine begins teaching its students clinical science and skills early in their medical education, integrating it into the curriculum from the beginning.
Standardized patients are trained to simulate the roles of patients so students can interview and perform basic exams with them, just as they would a real patient. Students are given ample time to practice their skills with standardized patients, starting first with communication, learning the best way to interview patients. Special emphasis is put on students' self-reflection and empathy. Students then move onto basic physical exams such as listening to a patient's heart and breathing and checking blood pressure. All of these skills are taught by our faculty then practiced and reviewed with the faculty present. In addition, many of the practice sessions are recorded on video, so students can review the interactions and learn from them. Finally, each student is tested on the clinical skills work with standardized patients at the end of each block during Phase 1 (Years 1 and 2).
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is one of the few medical schools that incorporates oral health into its instruction. Thanks in large part to a $1 million endowment made possible by a gift from the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation, a comprehensive oral health curriculum is a major component of the education received by students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine.
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is one of just a handful of medical schools across the country to incorporate portable ultrasound training into its curriculum.
Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE)
Each student is assigned to an ambulatory clinic for one-half day per month from the beginning of Phase 1. Students will continue this partnership through the end of Year 2 before they begin clinical rotations in Years 3 and 4. The goal of LACE is to provide students with a longitudinal, real, clinical experience from the start of their medical education. The program emphasizes clinical skills development, creates a positive physician role-model, encourages interprofessional health care relationships, and demonstrates the importance of critical thinking and research in a clinical practice.