ASPE eNews
Dec. 23, 2014

'Patients' who act sick valuable as teaching tool
San Francisco Chronicle
From Aug. 19: The 45-year-old patient, Sally Artesaros, sat on the exam table, her body hunched in pain with her palm cradling the right side of her temple. "It's sharp and it's pounding," she said of the migraine headaches she said she'd been experiencing daily for two weeks. She winced under the fluorescent glare of the exam room, prompting the medical student to dim the lighting and lower her voice.More

A reflection on measuring and developing SP talent
By Howard M Gregory II, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
From Sept. 30: One of the great things about going to an ASPE conference is the fact that, no matter how much you know, this community will help you to see things in an entirely new way, and this June was no exception. In my experience working with SPs to create multiple programs for a variety of learners on a daily basis, I often get distracted by the day-to-day tasks of the center so when it comes time to recruit for a role, the majority of the knowledge I have on which to base my pick of SP is tacit.More

A primer for objective structured teaching exercises
American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
From July 22: The objective structured teaching exercise is a high-fidelity training method for advancing the teaching and interpersonal communication skills of faculty members and preceptors. This paper is a primer for implementation of OSTEs as part of a comprehensive faculty development program. This primer addresses teaching and precepting skills that can be most effectively enhanced and assessed by the OSTE method.More

Avoid these communication mistakes
From Sept. 16: Everyone communicates and occasionally misspeaks. But the best leaders and the greatest bosses we admire are the ones who take great care with their communication. Here are some common communication blunders and mistakes we are all guilty of and it would be best to avoid.More

Pretending to be a medical patient pays off for this teen
National Public Radio
From Sept. 16: Some of us are lucky enough to stumble into a job that we love. That was the case for Gabrielle Nuki. The 16-year-old had never heard of standardized patients until her adviser at school told her she should check it out. Since Nuki wants to be a doctor, the chance to earn $15 to $20 an hour training medical students as a pretend patient was kind of a dream come true. More

TED Talk: 'On Being Present, Not Perfect'
By Elaine C. Meyer, Ph.D., R.N.
From Aug. 5: The conversations that matter most in healthcare are often the most difficult. From conveying serious diagnoses and disclosing medical errors, to ethical quandaries surrounding end-of-life care, these conversations are the bedrock of the patient-healthcare provider relationship. When they go poorly, patients' health outcomes, trust, and satisfaction with care can suffer.More

Fake patients let medical students practice on underserved populations
From Aug. 5: Going to the doctor is not typically at the top of anyone's want-to-do-list, especially for teenagers, who are considered an underserved population in healthcare. But adolescence is considered a critical time for physicians to connect with young patients as they confront risky behaviors. To build stronger relationships with teens, medical students are increasingly training with simulated, or so-called "standardized patients" for practice.More

Karen Szauter's 'Pick of the Month'
From Oct. 28: Karen Szauter, from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, is a self-proclaimed research "geek" who is very passionate about the dissemination of research related to SP methodology in the hope of encouraging further research and advancing the field. Karen trolls more than 20 medical education and other journals from around the world, reading over 400 articles a year, in search of publications "worth having a conversation about" to share with the ASPE community.More

Reflections on ASPE 2014 workshop, Diversity and Culture in the World of SPS: Continuing the Conversation
By Lorena Dobbie, University of Toronto
From Sept. 30: I was very excited to see this workshop included in the conference program this year. It is an important area that SP programs need to discuss in order to address the inequities that live within most of our programs. The presenters, Anita Richards from USC Keck School of Medicine, Valerie Fulmer from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Rob MacAulay from USCD School of Medicine and Tamara Owens from Howard University did not promise ready-made solutions. How could they? More

6 cures for a bad doctor's appointment
Men's Health
From Sept. 30: Would you feign the flu, cancer or even an STD? Some do it for a living. With a medical exam room as their stage, standardized patients are actors who portray characters with a variety of illnesses — and a plethora of personalities — all in order to train med students and other healthcare professionals. But they're far from being just test dummies or even traditional actors. More