Someone You Should Know: Clinical Actors

July 30, 2008 10:53:54 AM PDT
Seven years ago she became an actress after losing her corporate job. That led Kelly Owens into commercials, which isn't fulltime. So, Kelly continues acting at a rather unusual place, the Clinical Performance Center in the UIC Medical Complex. Currently with Second City, Kelly is known as a standardized patient. Her stage is an examining room and she becomes part of the training for medical students.

"You initially have several hours of training just to become familiar with the terminology with the procedures to work with the students and provide good feedback once you do an interview with them," said Kelly Owens, actress.

On this occasion second-year medical student Cyrus Press conducted the examination.

"I feel like it going to give me a better opportunity to be equip to handle a real situation that patients have," said Cyrus Press, medical student.

The clinical performance center here at the University of Illinois Medical Center was one of the first in the country established in 1987. Now similar faculties can be found at many medical school across the country and world wide.

Fifty Chicago actors and actresses are part of the program directed by Dr. Rachel Yudkowsky.

"They also learn more complicated things like how to give bad news and how to deal with a victim of elder abuse for example so that when they do go out to talk to patients they already know how to go out and do it," said Dr. Rachel Yudkowsky, center director.

"We are not medical professionals but we can accurately evaluate them on how they made us feel as individuals and that something that is really hard to teach in the classroom," said Kelly Owens.


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