The Clinical Teaching and Assessment Center (CTAC) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health is a facility where health sciences students practice and are tested on interviewing and physical examination skills.

Students receive hands-on training and testing of skills related to becoming professionals. The ability to perform the skills in person allows learning and testing to be more interactive and engaging, compared to simply reading about these skills.

In addition, faculty can observe their students in real time and make adjustments to the curriculum if particular skills are not being learned. While the Clinical Teaching and Assessment Center was originally designed for health sciences students and professionals, many other students have benefitted from the facility's technology. 

Each of the Clinical Teaching and Assessment Center's rooms contains medical equipment, including otoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, examination tables and sinks. Each room can seat four to six individuals. A central observation area allows individuals to remotely view each room. 

The rooms are also equipped with two ceiling-mounted video cameras and microphones that allow digital capture of students’ encounters with patients. Video-captured encounters are stored on a server and can be streamed to any computer on the campus network. Videos also can be placed on a CD or DVD for off-campus viewing. Encounters are not recorded without participants' knowledge.

Clinical Teaching and Assessment Center services

  • Orientation to the CTAC and the technology
  • Case and checklist development
  • Examination oversight and management
  • Standardized patient recruitment and training
  • Examination data analysis and reports

Any group interested in teaching or assessing interactions with clients, customers, students or patients can use the Clinical Teaching and Assessment Center. There is flexibility in how the rooms can be used.

For instance, some groups may need only the audiovisual equipment, but not the center's clinical equipment. Seasoned practitioners and professionals also can benefit from hands-on advanced practice or continuing education encounters.