Mary J. Cantrell, M.A.

Mary J. Cantrell, M.A. Ms. Cantrell is the Executive Director of the Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation Education at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She started working at UAMS in 1993 with one of the first Standardized Patient Programs in the south. She completed her graduate work at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock where she studied communications that focused on the doctor and patient relationship.

She hosted an international Standardized Patient Educators Conference in 1997 and became the founding president of the international Association of Standardized Patient Educators, which was formed in 2001. She has presented workshops and papers on the use of Standardized Patients and Clinical Skills Training at medical meetings in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Egypt, India and Turkey. As Executive Director she works with all colleges and hospital staff at UAMS and helped develop the first practical examination using standardized patients for United States pharmacy students.

In 2006 she also became the Director of the Pediatric Learning and Understanding through Simulation Education (PULSE) Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. This year she started her third center in Northwest Arkansas and The Walker Center for Clinical Skills Education will open in the spring of 2013. She worked on a National Cancer Institute Grant, The Delta Grant for Minority Women, were she trained women to teach and assess the clinical breast exam skills of practicing physicians and nurses She has trained over 100 women to teach breast examinations and pelvic examinations.

In 1998 Mary became one of a few site trainers for the Standardized Patient Pilot Project of the National Board of Medical Examiners and has since served as a consultant for the Step 2 CS exam. In addition to running the programs at UAMS and ACH, she has done consulting with the University of Tennessee at Memphis, Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Texas Children’s Hospital and the University of Texas Arlington as these schools developed their programs in clinical skills and simulation. In addition to the many papers and posters she has presented, she contributed a chapter about Standardized Patients to the third and fourth additions of the Practical Guide for Medical Teachers by John Dent and Ronald Harden.

She now serves on the Leadership Institute at UAMS, the UAMS Arts Council and the UALR Alumni Board as chair of the membership committee. She is appointed faculty of the Department of Medical Humanities.