Korean J Med Educ.  2000 Nov;12(2):353-361.

The Use of Standardized Patients in Medical Education

Affiliations
  • 1Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

Standardized patients(SPs) are either persons who are trained to simulate a patient's illness in a standardized way or actual patients. Newly established Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine started problem based learning(PBL) curriculum and SP program has been developed for teaching and evaluating clinical skills in medical education. Standardized patients were recruited from the community. Small-group SP training sessions were operated by two SP trainers and supervised by a clinical faculty. Standardized patients were used in teaching and practicing interviewing and physical examination skills for students. We report the experiences of initial stage of SP program and views of students and SPs. We surveyed 35 first-year medical students after SP encounters. The questionnaire was about effectiveness and realism of SP and general views of students. Another simple survey was conducted on 12 SPs who had participated in SP program for more than 4 months. Most students answered that SP encounters were interesting and more helpful in learning history-taking and clinical skills. The attitude of SPs was enthusiastic and their simulations were rated as appropriate and acceptable. The evaluations of the SP program by students, SPs, and faculty were very favorable. As an alternative to real patients, the SP can offer advantages such as availability, adaptability and controllability. If trained well, they also can provide objective feedback to the students. The SP offers a readily available tool for teaching and evaluating the clinical performance and interpersonal skills of medical students. It is suggested that the use of SP is stimulating and challenging way of teaching and evaluating in medical education.

Keyword

Standardized patient; Clinical skill; Problem based learning
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