The Center for Experiential and Applied Learning (CEAL) brings together a variety of resources at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the Innovation Quarter to create a center for shared learning among professionals.

At CEAL, clinical practitioners become competent in new procedures and develop ways to verify and assess levels of competency.

Human Tissue Services

The Anatomical Resource Clinical Training Center (ARCTC) is an innovative developer of novel curricula that enhance clinical procedure training.

The anatomy lab at Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education was carefully designed with state of the art features to house tissue dissection to teach the next generation of learners.  Features include group learning bays and projection of the central learning station to monitors to help students recognize and remember key anatomical features.  A large outside sink and storage hooks for personal belongings are design features specifically with the learner in mind.

Hands-on training activities benefit:

  • Allied health care professionals
  • Civilian medical first responders
  • Experienced doctors developing new clinical skills
  • Medical and physician assistant students
  • Military medics and corpsmen

Center features include:

  • A hemostasis model to simulate bleeding during trauma procedures
  • Individual CT, CT-A, MR or MR-A rendered images acquired from donors

The center includes multiple learning labs that use cadavers alongside wireless computers and closed circuit television displays at the bedside.

Each year, we supply our learners with about 90,000 learner-utilization hours. This achievement is possible because of our long-established Whole Body Donation Program and those who contribute this priceless resource.


Patient Simulation Lab (PSL)

CEAL’s high-fidelity Patient Simulation Lab (PSL) was one of the first simulation facilities in the southeastern U.S.

CEAL has three separate dedicated PSL facilities:

  • Emergency/critical care lab
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Specialized surgery labs

Portable, wireless high-fidelity patient simulation allows us to bring simulation to any space to optimize the learning experience.

In addition, CEAL’s partnership with Human Analogue Applications, a company that develops and produces procedural task trainers, allows us to design, develop, fabricate and implement novel synthetic tissue trainers for medical procedure education and competency assessment. Human Analogue Applications specializes in the custom design and fabrication of synthetic tissues with the deformation and haptic, or tactile, properties of human tissues to advance education in procedures and standardized testing.

The American Society for Anesthesiology has approved our facilities as a training site for Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology (MOCA®) courses. Our MOCA training and testing services, coupled with specialized courses, make us one of only a few such sites in the southeastern U.S.

Simulation Suites

CEAL offers a variety of simulation environments, simulators and task trainers to assist with the education and assessment of health care providers from multiple disciplines.

Our simulation rooms are set up to replicate the actual clinical environments. The rooms include recording and monitoring capabilities and debriefing areas, and can be used with simulators, task trainers and standardized patients.

Simulation rooms include:

  • Emergency room
  • Inpatient rooms
  • Operating room
  • Outpatient rooms
  • Trauma room

To assist with educational and assessment events, we also have a variety of mannequin simulators, including:

  • A birthing simulator
  • A newborn simulator
  • Adult simulators
  • Pediatric simulators

Task trainers are also available to augment the education and assessment activities of CEAL.

Mock Operating Room

CEAL maintains an advanced, fully functional mock operating room.

Features include:

  • A connected surgical debriefing room for processing team task loading scenarios
  • An observation window, along with five remote cameras for room observation, event recording and video control
  • HDccTV capabilities shared with 40 adjacent clinical operating rooms
  • Interactive high-density video recording and webcast capabilities
  • Two adjacent interactive surgery classrooms with a combined seating capacity for 60 surgeons

Surgery Academy

The CEAL Surgery Academy offers a variety of meeting and training options, with live surgery connections available in the classrooms, the mock OR and the debriefing room.

The Surgery Academy also maintains a Basic Surgical Skills Lab for fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery training and testing through the American College of Surgery, as well as an Advanced Surgical Skills Training Lab for advanced skills courses. These courses use seven training stations designed for open or endoscopic procedure courses that require human tissues applied to the practice of urology, uro/gyn, obstetrics, ENT, neurosurgery or orthopedics.

Standardized Patient Program

“Standardized patients” are actors skilled in portraying live patient simulation in a variety of patient settings, generally equipped for direct observation, wireless communication and video recording.

Wake Forest School of Medicine was an early leader in developing and implementing the use of standardized patients as part of its medical curriculum. The use of standardized patients provides opportunities for direct observation for education and assessment of doctor-patient interactions. The interactions also allow learners to practice collecting patient histories and conducting physical examinations, as well as managing patients in outpatient and inpatient settings.

CEAL offers standardized patient educational and assessment opportunities in a variety of events to enhance and evaluate patient care interactions. The center also has the capability to use standardized patients within the clinical workplace for immersive learning projects.

If you are interested in becoming a Standardized Patient, please contact Erin Haynes, Program Manager Standardized Patients at for an application.

Student-centered Experiential and Applied Learning Environment

Wake Forest School of Medicine was an early developer of specialized classrooms to increase student participation in active learning, case-based learning, problem solving and peer-to-peer learning.

The expanded use of technology in the classroom environment greatly improves active learning in clinical reasoning activities required for a variety of medical professions and specialties.

Our classrooms feature:

  • easily reconfigured small group tables, each with wireless connectivity and display capabilities
  • multiple room display screens and facilities for patient presentation and faculty interaction
  • online web-based audience response capabilities
  • the ability to broadcast activities in one room to other rooms across facilities
  • tiered classroom space that is configured to allow groups to easily form and interact and then return to a lecture setting

Our technology and innovative room designs allow learners to move away from the passive role found in a typical lecture hall environment to active engagement with expert faculty and patients through case-based learning and problem solving with large group interaction.

These CEAL resources are ideal environments for developing practitioner capacities required for clinical decision-making and interdisciplinary team-based clinical care.

Instructional Design and Educational Solutions (IDEaS)

We focus on learner experiences utilizing the latest educational technology.  We partner with you to develop engaging and effective experiences grounded in learning theory.  Our team innovates the learner experience by leveraging our expertise in simulation design, interprofessional education, gamification, visual design and curriculum evaluation. 
Examples include:

  • Video Instruction & Demonstration
  • Interactive Designs & Games
  • Adult Learning & Methodology
  • Simulation & Experiential Learning 

Program for Medical Ultrasound

Since 1975, the Program for Medical Ultrasound has been a pioneer in teaching the art of ultrasound to physicians, sonographers and other allied health professionals. Each course is enhanced by daily hands-on scanning sessions to reinforce lectures and develop scanning techniques. Learn more about the Program for Medical Ultrasound.