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Teaching Associate Program


CAPE offers opportunities for learners to acquire and refine the skills and techniques needed to perform various physical examinations utilizing lay clinical educators called Teaching Associates (TA). Teaching Associates instruct learners how to conduct the physical exam and the specific exam components on their own bodies. By instructing the exam directly on themselves, they assist and ground clinicians in making the exam comfortable and inclusive of the patient. Learners are provided with immediate feedback on exam skills as well as examiner-patient communication techniques and can apply them immediately to actual patient care in various clinical settings.

Physical Exam Teaching Sessions are divided into systems and range from the basic systems such as cardiovascular, abdominal, and pulmonary exams to the more intimate body systems including the breast, pelvic, and prostate exams. There are three types of Teaching Associates at the CAPE: the Standardized Physical Examination Teaching Associate (SPETA), the Gynecologic Teaching Associate (GTA), and the Male Urologic Teaching Associate (MUTA).

The goal of all Teaching Associates is to assist the novice or experienced examiner in performing thorough and competent exams with emphasis on patient education and examiner-patient communication.

Characteristics of Teaching Associates at CAPE

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new material and conduct self-directed preparation for instructional and evaluative sessions
  • Attention to detail and commitment to standardized instruction and accurate evaluation of examination skills
  • High interest in the education of health professionals
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to work cooperatively and professionally with learners, other TAs, faculty and staff.  
  • Demonstrated flexibility and reliability with scheduling and assignments
  • Legal immigration status to work in the U.S.  
  • Monitor other TAs for quality assurance and communicate with the Program Leader about teaching and/or portrayal inconsistencies
  • Ability to receive ongoing feedback from the Program Leader and modify behaviors and sessions accordingly
  • Lack of biases towards the healthcare system