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Acad Psychiatry. 2002 Autumn;26(3):180-3.

Teaching the mental status examination to medical students by using a standardized patient in a large group setting.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University, The Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


The authors describe their recent experience in using a standardized patient (SP) to illustrate the mental status examination (MSE) to 170 second-year medical students in a large classroom setting. An SP was trained to portray a patient with schizophrenia who was interviewed during the MSE lecture. A six-question survey was distributed to the students to evaluate how the students felt about the learning experience. Results show that the majority of students felt that using an SP in a large classroom setting helped them to understand the material better and was a useful teaching tool. Follow-up studies are under way to objectively measure students' integration and retention of the lecture material.

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