In 2012, the program developed an exam to demonstrate clinical competence using Standardized Patients in cooperation with the Professional Development Center at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

The exam takes place the summer between the 3rd and 4th year, and requires students to perform two 60-minute “Intake” interviews with standardized patients who are trained actors.

The interviews are video-recorded and rated by three clinically-trained faculty members who have not worked with the student (to avoid any potential bias).

Examinees are required to write a progress note after the first interview. In addition, they are each given a set of results from standardized testing for their second standardized patient. The information collected during the interview and the standardized testing results are then incorporated into an integrated psychological evaluation including diagnoses and treatment recommendations. The reports are then rated by two faculty members.

The students are provided feedback on their clinical performance, report writing, and ratings by the standardized patients. This feedback is designed to guide the students training over the ensuing year prior to applying for internship.