Simulated patients: role-players

Training in clinical skills is a major component of the ANU Medical School curriculum and the ANU Medical School uses a range of teaching approaches and technologies to deliver this training.  One of these approaches is for medical students to work with simulated patient role-players (SPs).  Simulation allows medical students to learn in a safe and controlled environment, which replicates aspects of real life situations. 

Simulation sessions involving SPs focus on the teaching, learning and assessment of professional interviewing and communication skills.  Simulated patients learn a script provided by the Medical School.  Scripts illustrate different medical interviewing scenarios and may detail medical, family and occupational history, emotions, behaviours, diseases signs and symptoms. 

Simulated patients are expected to have previous experience in educational or health care training, role-playing and communications training. Previous acting and drama experience is beneficial.  A capacity to memorise and perform a role accurately and consistently for prolonged periods of time is essential.

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