Director of UAMS Center for Clinical Skills Education Wins National Award

By todd

LITTLE ROCK — Mary Cantrell, director of the Center for Clinical Skills Education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), received the Outstanding Standardized Patient Educator Award from the Association of Standardized Patient Educators at the organization’s annual conference Aug. 19-23 in Tucson, Ariz.


Cantrell has been director of the UAMS clinical skills education program for 15 years and was a leader in the development of the university’s new, state-of-the-art facility that opened in 2006. It is one of only a handful of such technologically advanced clinical skills education centers in the country.


The center features 10 fully equipped examination rooms for real-time, face-to-face interaction between students in UAMS’ five colleges or graduate school and people trained to portray any number of medical conditions. Called standardized patients, these individuals undergo extensive training before entering the exam room with UAMS students.


Cantrell traveled to Cairo, Egypt, earlier this year to assist Egyptian academic leaders in developing a clinical skills education program for medical and nursing students there. The trip was funded by a grant awarded from the United States Agency for Internal Development to JHPIEGO, an international health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., where Cantrell works as a subcontractor.


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,320 students and 690 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 9,400 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $4.5 billion a year. For more information, visit