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Med Teach. 2010;32(11):e467-70. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2010.507713.

The use of standardized patients to teach medical students clinical skills in ambulatory care settings.

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Seoul National University College of Medicine, Republic of Korea.



Ambulatory medicine is being increasingly emphasized in undergraduate medical education. Because of the limited availability of real patients, we introduced a standardized patient (SP) encounter program in an ambulatory care setting.


This study was undertaken to assess the usefulness of SPs for teaching undergraduate students clinical skills in ambulatory settings.


Third-year medical students met two different SPs, who presented common authentic problems, during internal medicine clerkship. Each SP encounter of 30 min was followed by SP and a tutor's feedback, using a video recording of the SP encounter. We surveyed students for program evaluation purposes at the end of their three-year internal medicine clerkships (from 2006 to 2008).


Most students found that the consecutive SP sessions were instructive and helpful. Video recordings of clinical encounters allowed students to reflect on their behavior and receive feedback from tutors. However, students identified several weaknesses of these SP encounters. For example, pre-exposure to the SP scenario reduced tension of the experience and inconsistent feedback from tutors caused confusion.


SP encounters in an ambulatory care setting, followed by tutor's feedback based on a video recording, can be used for teaching basic clinical ambulatory care skills.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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