Rush Medical College (RMC) is participating in a consortium with seven other prominent medical schools to develop interactive online educational content using the i-Human Patients software platform — a cloud-based service for students that simulates a patient’s visit with a doctor. Keith Boyd, MD, senior associate dean for education at Rush Medical College, is leading the development effort at Rush. “The i-Human cases allow us to present authentic clinical cases tied to our curriculum from the very beginning of the students’ medical education. We can also highlight clinical correlations of basic science material,” said Boyd. Working with colleagues, Jah-Won Koo, MD, Elizabeth Baker, MD, Syed Shah, MD, Paul Kent, MD, Boyd has implemented a case-based curriculum for the M1 and M2 years at RMC. Additional cases are under development for use in the M3 year.
Students use i-Human Patients to interview and examine animated patients, develop diagnostic hypotheses, order diagnostic tests, interpret test results and create a treatment plan. i-Human Patients provides a comprehensive learning tool that integrates clinical experience much earlier into medical education, helps students develop skills in patient assessment and diagnostic reasoning and prepares students for their experiences with actual patients.
Since the i-Human Patients platform is network-based and designed to work on any browser with no proprietary client software required, students will be able to use the service anywhere, anytime and on any device: desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. This enables faculty to assign patient cases as homework, and then review the experience in class, highlighting key aspects of the encounter to enhance learning. Instructors can also assign cases as in-class or lab projects or use them as a test to ensure students have developed the desired assessment and diagnostic competencies.