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Photo of Yudkowsky, Rachel

Rachel Yudkowsky, MD, MHPE


Department of Medical Education


Building & Room:

986 CMET


MC 591

Office Phone:


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Rachel Yudkowsky is Professor in the Department of Medical Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. She served as Director of Graduate Studies from 2018-2023, and as Director of the Dr Allan L and Mary L Graham Clinical Performance Center from 2000-2018, where she developed standardized patient and simulation-based programs for the instruction and assessment of students, residents and staff. She also served as Director of the University of Illinois Health Sciences Simulation Consortium from 2009-2018.

Dr. Yudkowsky received her MD from Northwestern University Medical School in 1979 and is Board Certified in Psychiatry. She obtained her Master of Health Professions Education (MHPE) degree from UIC in 2000. She served as medical student psychiatry clerkship director, psychiatry residency program director, and director of education for the Evanston Hospital Department of Psychiatry, and as associate director of graduate medical education for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences of Northwestern University Medical School before joining
the faculty of DME in 1999.

Dr. Yudkowsky served as Chair of the Research and Grants Committee of the Association of Standardized Patient Educators (ASPE) from 2007-2009. She was the founding co-President of the Chicago Simulation Consortium (CSC) in 2013, and served as Chair of the CSC Professional Development Committee from 2015-2017. She served on the Editorial Board of the journal Simulation in Healthcare from 2008-2017, and as an Associate Editor from 2015-2017. She received the Outstanding Educator Award from ASPE in 2009, and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare Standardized Patient SIG Award in 2016. Her book Assessment in Health Professions Education, co-edited with Steven Downing, was published by Routledge in 2009; the 2nd edition of the book, co-edited with Yoon Soo Park, was published in 2019. Areas of research interest include performance assessment using standardized patients and other simulations, especially for physical exam skills, communication skills, clinical reasoning, and basic procedural skills; and setting passing standards for performance tests.

Research Interest

  • ORCID: 0000-0002-2145-7582
  • Research and Teaching Interests: Dr. Yudkowsky’s teaching interests are in the scholarship of Health Professions Education and professional development programs for faculty and staff who develop and implement standardized patient (SP)-based educational programs (SP educator certificate program, and others). Research interests focus on simulation-based assessments: (1) promoting and assessing clinical reasoning through SP encounters (exploring methods to assess clinical reasoning through post-encounter notes and promoting clinical reasoning while teaching and assessing physical exam skills via a hypothesis-driven physical exam);(2) setting pass/fail cut scores for simulation-based assessments, especially in mastery-learning environments (How does benchmark performance information provided to judges need to be modified for a repeated-testing mastery environment? What is the impact on standard setting judgments of different benchmark information, or other evidence-based information?);and (3) improving SP checklist and rating scale design by focusing on high-salience items for a given purpose (for example clinically discriminating items or high salience communication items).


Education: Northwestern University Medical School