Morchand Center

"Where there is love for mankind there is love for the art of healing." - Hippocrates

The Morchand Center was the first resource of its kind which offered faculty the ability to evaluate students in the clinical setting, without risk to patient care. Development of the groundbreaking process quickly became valued in medical education and is now included as part of the medical licensing process.

Hippocrates’ words greet visitors as they enter The Morchand Center for Clinical Competence, which is permeated by a philosophy of caring and concern. Exciting, exacting, and extraordinary, The Morchand Center is dedicated to training today's medical students to become tomorrow's compassionate physicians.

Using the Standardized Patient (SP) methodology to train and assess students, residents, and other health care professionals, the Center promotes medical training and humanistic care. It offers an ideal platform for teaching, learning, evaluating, and providing and receiving feedback on the essential skills required to care for patients.

Fully integrated within the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS), the Center uses state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technology to teach students to communicate with patients in the thoughtful and sensitive manner necessary for a successful doctor-patient relationship. Closed-circuit digital video cameras and microphones are linked to a separate observation theatre so that we can monitor, record, and review students’ interactions with Standardized Patients.

This process allows for immediate trainee feedback. This, along with other experiential and didactic tools, makes SP methodology particularly well-suited for assessing and improving interpersonal communication skills.

At The Morchand Center, Standardized Patients (SP) are experienced, professional actors who are specially trained to mimic the signs and symptoms of an illness, in simulated doctor-patient encounters, and to provide feedback to medical learners. Actors pass a rigorous audition process to become SPs at The Morchand Center and receive training in assessing medical learners. We routinely evaluate SPs to ensure they are delivering consistent, accurate and standardized portrayals, and reliable ratings of trainees.


Situated within the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Morchand Center facilities provide an ideal environment for teaching, learning, evaluation, and feedback.

Exam Rooms

The seven examination rooms have wall-mounted instruments, adjustable exam tables, sink units, disposables, and working telephones for phone encounters. One room features a hospital bed and a window for one-way viewing. Each room has closed-circuit digital video cameras and stereo microphones linked to a separate state-of-the art observation theater where Morchand staff monitor and digitally record the simulated doctor-patient interactions.

Observation Theater

The observation theater’s advanced audiovisual system serves as the eyes and ears of the program. Eight flat screen monitors, each capable of displaying two different images simultaneously, facilitate audience viewing in the 10-person theater-style seating.

High Fidelity Simulation Mannequin

The high-fidelity human simulation mannequin enables the center to run both standard "sim" encounters (use of the mannequin alone) and hybrid encounters (use of the mannequin along with live Standardized Patients). We use the simulation mannequin to test learners' abilities to discover and evaluate abnormal or pathologic physical exam findings such as heart murmurs or lung sounds and vital signs such as blood pressure. The high-fidelity machine can react to treatment choices trainees make with realistic physiologic responses, permitting students to practice real-time clinical decision-making.

Beverly Forsyth, MD
Medical Director

Dr. Forsyth is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Department of Medical Education at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In addition to serving as Medical Director of the Morchand Center for Clinical Competence, she is the Director of Student Electives. Dr. Forsyth has an interest in patient-provider communication and brings a background in improv to her work.

Terry Sommer

Ms. Sommer brings a longtime background in acting, actor training, business, theater, and the world of international relations to her position. Ms. Sommer oversees all activities at the center, which puts roughly 2,500 trainees through some 30-plus programs each year.

Alexis Medina
Education Program Assistant

Alexis Medina facilitates all administrative matters at The Morchand Center.

Luis Argueta
Program Coordinator

Luis Argueta manages and coordinates the scheduling of programs and casting of actors/standardized patients at The Morchand Center.