Incorporating virtual patients into the medical curriculum

For those who have never been to medical school, the idea of learning to be a physician often conjures up thoughts of students in white lab coats eagerly following professors on their rounds through the hospital. But these days, the patients being examined are just as likely to be avatars.” Writes Ben Elsen from the Inside Higher Ed website.

This article describes how various universities are incorporating virtual simulations, or virtual patients into their medical curricula. In particular, The University of Central Florida College of Medicine is introducing a new initiative in which each student has a virtual patient who they treat ‘from birth to death’, over the entire course of their degree.

Likewise, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine has incorporated virtual patients into their ‘hybrid problem-based learning experience’, which also includes contact with real patients and multiple methodologies.

There are many similar initiatives happening in medical institutions in Europe. For example, St George’s University of London (SGUL) is taking the bold step of fully integrating virtual patients into their case-based curriculum with the Generation 4 project (G4).

The incorporation of this new technology into the medical and health-care curricula is encouraging, and is something we’re always interested in at eViP!

You can read about our recent eViP survey that investigated how medical educators and learning technologists use, or perceive virtual patients, and you can also listen to Trupti Bakrania from SGUL talk to eViP about the Generation 4 (G4) project.

Next week we’ll be talking with Valerie Smothers from MedBiquitous about the MedBiquitous Virtual Patient Specifications and how this enables the effective sharing of virtual patients across different systems, and between institutions.

Stay tuned!

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