Print version ISSN 1575-1813
RODRIGUEZ-DIEZ, M. Cristina et al. Learning to take medical histories through patients simulation in undergraduate Medical School students. Educ. méd. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.1, pp.47-52. ISSN 1575-1813.
Aims. Simulation techniques are commonly used in medical education to improve the acquisition of knowledge, abilities and competencies. Several methods have been proposed: virtual patients, high fidelity devices and standard patients. We propose the use of 5th-6th year Medical School students acting as patients when teaching history taking to their 1st year colleagues. Subjects and methods. A total of 207 students from 1st year Medical School underwent training in history taking at the Simulation Center, with senior students acting as actors. The quality of the written medical records was evaluated by two medical doctors. The satisfaction of all students involved in the course was evaluated through an anonymous voluntary questionnaire. Results. The average score of the written medical histories was 8.2/10, more than satisfactory for our goals. Students' satisfaction rate was high. Mean score on questions inquiring the usefulness of patient simulation in learning how to perform a clinical history was 9/10 and 9.2/10 for first and fifth-sixth year students respectively. Questions on improvement of communication skills scored 8.6/10 and 8.6/10 respectively. The fruitfulness of training with simulated patients before practicing with real patients was 9.3/10 and 9.3/10 respectively. Finally, the assessment of the whole course with simulated patients was of 9.3/10. Conclusion. Learning history taking in first year Medical School with simulated patients acted by senior students was beneficial and user-friendly for both students and actors. An early contact with the clinical practice through simulated patients could improve performance and safety.
Keywords : Medical School; Simulated patients; Undergraduate education.