Remote Standardized Patients (RSPs) Across the Medical Education Continuum

May 19, 9:45 AM – 11:15 AM

Elizabeth K Kachur, PhD1, Yoon Kang, MD2, Jeanne Sandella, DO3, Chaoyan Dong, PhD4,  Louise Schweickerdt-Alker5, Jacqueline Ruggerio Klevan6, Ina Treadwell5, Lisa Altshuler, PhD7, Dot Horber, PhD3, Erik Langenau, DO8
1Medical Education Development, 2Weill Cornell Medical College, 3National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, 4National University of Singapore, 5University of Limpopo, 6Thomas Jefferson University, 7New York University School of Medicine, 8Pennsylvania College of Osteopathic Medicine

Remote Standardized Patients (RSPs) connect with learners via the internet using a teleconferencing system (e.g., Skype).  This allows more flexibility with the curriculum since the two parties do not have to be in the same place simultaneously.  As an educational methodology RSPs are still emerging and the literature on the topic is very limited.  Nonetheless there have been various attempts to create training programs in this fashion.  Sometimes they are the central instructional element, at other times they are an adjunct that provides practice opportunities. There is also a precedent for using RSPs for the assessment of learners who are a distance away from the clinical testing site (e.g., during clerkship rotations).

This presentation will provide an overview of topics and strategies used thus far.  Examples will be drawn from the literature as well as the authors’ personal experiences with this methodology. Brief segments of videotaped encounters (e.g., via SuperTintin) will familiarize participants with remote clinical encounters and subsequent feedback opportunities. Whether it is undergraduate or graduate medical education, or continuing professional development, RSPs offer some new opportunities for learning and assessment.  They can be used throughout health professions education and will prepare all for the intricacies of telemedicine.