The Doctor Blog’s February 5th article “Four Promising Innovations in Medical Education“, written by Patricia Salber, MD, MBA and Margaret Cary, MD, MBA, MPH, outlined four key innovations that could help solve the primary care shortage while engaging and renewing students’ love of medicine. Use of simulation to teach diagnostic skills was listed by Drs Salber and Cary as one of these key innovations, with i-Human Patients was a named exemplar of this practice:
3. Use Simulation to Teach Diagnostic Skills
i-Human Patients teaches diagnostic skills via its i-Human case player that simulates a wide variety of cases using virtual patients. The program presents users with what are called undifferentiated cases, meaning the student does not already know the patient’s current diagnosis or medical history. That must be elicited by asking the right questions. Participants perform a virtual physical exam that includes listening to heart and lung (breath) sounds. They can order and interpret labs and construct a differential diagnosis, or a list of possible diagnoses. They do all of this without the need for in-person patients, whether standardized or not.
Thus far, the company has about 100 clinical cases in their toolkit. These are written by clinicians, many of them on staff at academic institutions. The cases can be customized to meet the teaching needs of the different training programs. In addition, medical educators can craft their own cases and share them on the site. This flexibility allows hundreds of cases, each with varying levels of difficulty and different learning objectives, to be available online. Students and practicing clinicians can access from anywhere in the world. Here is a link a recent video interview with i-Human Patients CEO Norman Wu.”
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