Another day just passed, and you feel that you’re torn between helping your students in their professional development, submitting your research paper, and finishing up the documentation with the patients?

Medical educators have a difficult job with finding a balance between their competing demands. Harden and Crosby (2000) identified six groups of medical teachers’ roles:

  1. the information provider
  2. the role model
  3. the facilitator
  4. the assessor
  5. the curriculum and course planner
  6. the resource material and creator

The increased patient and administrative loads, completing their research duties usually leads to insufficient time for teaching and meeting the expectations of all roles above.  In these challenging times, physicians’ shortage puts pressure on teachers and threatens the continuity of clinical training programs. So time-saving skills and tools are needed more than ever.

At InSimu, our job is to help and support educators deliver more efficient clinical training with virtual patients. Our medical education expert team is presenting 4 strategies and examples of how you can deliver a more robust education with less effort. 

Challenge #1: Administration

Strategy: Set clear goals and automate your reporting

Administration and ensuring that students completed sufficient clinical training is one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks. Before the semester begins, it’s useful to think it over, what are your expectations towards your students when it comes to clinical practice. What are the most important metrics for you? 

  • The number of patient encounters?
  • The time that students spent with the patients?
  • The number of diseases that your students were exposed to?
  • The number of clinical decisions they made?

Whichever you define as a goal, it’s extremely difficult to create a proper measurement system for any of them. Fortunately, with the help of virtual patient platforms, like InSimu, you can easily track your students’ activity and performance levels with ease in an automated way.

Challenge #2: Find the right materials for your upcoming classes

Strategy: Select the perfect clinical scenarios from more than 7000+

Conducting an Objective Structured Clinical Examination might be a complex and time-consuming task. Each station requires examiners and real or simulated patients, which are most commonly provided by actors. The standardized clinical examination is designed to apply clinical and theoretical knowledge as well. Let’s consider now which parts of your stations could be replaced or completed by virtual patient scenarios.

Virtual patient case scenarios make it possible to automatize the assessment of history taking skills, radiology skills, and theoretical knowledge. What is more, you can let your students prove their skills on complete realistic cases (from history taking to patient management), not just on a specific short part of a scenario.

Challenge #3 Design OSCE for your students

Strategy: Make virtual patient scenarios part of your stations and launch OSCE even for hundreds of students with some clicks

Conducting an Objective Structured Clinical Examination might be a complex and time-consuming task. Each station requires the presence of examiners and real or simulated patients which are most commonly provided by actors. The standardized clinical examination is designed to apply clinical and theoretical knowledge as well. Let’s consider now which parts of your stations could be replaced or completed by virtual patient scenarios.

Virtual patient case scenarios make it possible to automatize the assessment of history taking skills, radiology skills, and theoretical knowledge as well. What is more, you can let your students prove their skills on complete realistic cases (from history taking to patient management), not just on a specific short part of a scenario.

Eighteen station OSCE as originally described by Harden (1979) in K. Z. Khan et al. (2013) p. 5.

Challenge #4 Providing personalized feedback

Strategy: Provide a self-assessment tool for your students and organize data-driven debriefing sessions

Personalized feedback on clinical rotation might take hours from you daily. Virtual patient platforms can make it possible for your students to practice independently, anytime, anywhere. The InSimu Platform, for instance, allows your students to practice on an infinite number of virtual patients. They can choose which specializations or symptoms they want to focus on. After diagnosing a virtual patient, they receive automated feedback about their performance. It’s a great way to provide a safe virtual environment where they can learn from their mistakes.


Sources:

K. Z. Khan et al. (2013) The Objective Structured Clinical Examination
(OSCE): AMEE Guide No. 81. Part I: An historical and theoretical perspective

Harden and Crosby (2000) AMEE Guide No 20: The good teacher is more than a lecturerÐthe twelve roles of the teacher

Harden and Gleeson (1979) Assessment of clinical competence using an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)