The Skills Lab is a transversal programme that runs over the first 5 years of the curriculum. It is where students develop fundamental clinical skills for their life as future doctors. These include obtaining a correct clinical history, performing a complete physical examination, correct reading of laboratory exams and performing many technical procedures.
Starting on the first weeks of the course, by conducting interviews with simulated patients students practice and develop their ability to communicate with patients and to establish a good doctor-patient relationship. Simultaneously, students practice patient observation and examination using medical devices such as the stethoscope, ophthalmoscope, otoscope or reflex hammer, among others.
Finally, they will have the opportunity to practice and develop many procedural skills that doctors need in their clinical activity such as the measurement of vital signs, venous puncture, arterial puncture, lumbar puncture, basic life support, advanced life support, use of an external automatic defibrillator, wound suturing, among many others.
Initially skills are taught with the use of written technical guidance and audiovisual media as well as hands-on practice with advanced medical simulation models. After this phase, students begin practicing, under supervision, with each other and latter with simulated patients.