CPX Program Attendance Policy


The UCSF School of Medicine Clinical Performance Exam (CPX) program includes two standardized patient (SP) encounter exercises – the Mini-CPX and the CPX.

Participation in the Mini-CPX and CPX is required for all students.

The Mini-CPX is a 3-station clinical skills exam administered midway through Foundations 2. The Mini-CPX is an important opportunity for learning and feedback on clinical skills during clerkships, and it also serves as preparation for the CPX exam.

The Clinical Performance Examination (CPX) is a standardized patient exam required for all UCSF students after Foundations 2.It is an 8-station exam that is administered at ten California medical schools. It is an important assessment of students’ clinical skills after F2.

Related LCME Standards

9.5: Assessment System
9.9: Student Advancement and Appeal Process



  1. The CPX exam is a high-stakes clinical performance exam that is a graduation requirement for all UCSF medical students.
  2. Each CPX session requires significant resources in terms of staff and standardized patient time.
  3. UCSF professionalism milestones include expectations for students to demonstrate accountability and reliability, and to adhere to professional standards and administrative expectations.



  1. Students are required to attend their scheduled Mini-CPX and CPX sessions.
  2. While clerkship directors are aware that these exams are required, students must communicate appropriately with their clerkship/site director and coordinator about being absent from clinical responsibilities during their scheduled exam time.
  3. Clinical rotation responsibilities are NOT cause for excused absences from the Mini-CPX or CPX sessions.
  4. Students will receive advanced scheduling notice for these exams via email with the specific date and time or with instructions on how to self-schedule a student’s exam date and time.
  5. If a student has an individual scheduling conflict, a specific time period will be allotted for trades, after which the assigned date will be confirmed.
  6. However, because of the extraordinary logistics of setting up these exams, scheduling makeup sessions becomes extremely labor intensive and cost prohibitive. It may not be possible to reschedule the exam.
  7. Students must arrive on time to their assigned sessions.
  8. Given these exams involve paid standardized patients, there may be a financial consequence to a student who is absent without prior arrangement from the student’s scheduled Mini-CPX or CPX sessions.
  9. Unexcused absences may lead to:
    • Failing the CPX exam (which is a graduation requirement).
    • Receiving a Physicianship Form.
    • Needing to pay standardized patients’ fees for the rescheduled session.
    • Needing to travel to another California medical school to take the CPX exam (travel expenses related to this will be the student's responsibility).

Professionalism and Dress Code

  1. Students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior throughout all exams, including responding in a timely manner to scheduling communications and arriving on time to all scheduled sessions.
  2. Students are also expected to dress for clinical encounters for the mini-CPX and CPX exams, including wearing a white coat, UCSF ID, stethoscope, and professional attire. Scrubs are not permitted.
  3. The CPX staff will document and report any lapses in professionalism to the Director of the CPX, Associate Dean for Assessment, and Associate Dean for Curriculum.

Accountable Dean or Director: Director of the CPX
Approval Date and Governing Body: August 30, 2019, CCEP
CPX, required, graduation, attendance, professionalism