Faculty Spotlight

Dawn M. Schocken
Center for Advanced Clinical Learning

Dawn M. Schocken: Bringing out the Best in Others

Dawn Schocken begins each day with a single vision: to bring out the best in others. As the Director of the Center of Advanced Clinical Learning and simulation (CACL), Dawn is charged with overseeing clinical skills simulations for students across the USF Health campus. CACL opened in 2005 as a means to bring Medicine, Nursing and Physical Therapy students together for clinical training and evaluation through the use of standardized patients. The Center is equipped with 12 state-of-the-art clinical exam rooms as well as a video monitoring system for observation and performance evaluation of students. Dawn explains that clinical simulations are extremely valuable tools for developing compassionate and patient-centered healthcare professionals saying "at CACL we try to create scenarios so that students understand what is important for the patient."

Under her leadership and support, the scope of CACL has grown to include training international healthcare professionals. Through partnership with USF Medicine International, more than 50 international healthcare professionals from countries such as China, Thailand, India, Panama, Germany, and the Dominican Republic have been trained at CACL. "The concept of medicine is not different in other countries but the way we treat patients in America is different from other countries" said Ms. Schocken. The training of international medical professionals contributes to the ideal of a global standard of care, a topic of importance as the field of medicine continues to become increasingly globalized.

When Dawn is not engaged in training students or meeting with members of the 30-person team responsible for operating CACL, she is conducting research on the accuracy and standardization of simulation programs. As a leader in the field of medical education simulation and standardized patient use, she has co-authored numerous publications and abstracts that have been instrumental in establishing simulation as a valid and beneficial method of clinical skills evaluation.

Yet, amongst her many successes, Dawn says that the highlight of her time at CACL is watching the students grow in their clinical care and confidence. Since opening in 2005, there have been more than 12,000 training sessions that have taken place with USF Health students at CACL.Interview by Danielle Grams, BS