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Structural Inequities in the Treatment of Standardized Patients and What That Means for Patient Care

By: Temple D. West, MMHPE
Submitted by: Marsha Harman, Rush Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation

Standardized patients (SPs) play a pivotal role in medical education. They are proxies for real patients, preparing students to meet the challenges of excellent patient care. Human simulation, with SPs, is used for teaching and assessing communication and clinical skills in medical education around the world. Standardized patients work individually with other faculty, students, or in conjunction with medical faculty to facilitate learning with feedback. In most simulation centers, SPs receive extensive training in communication and clinical skills, yet they inhabit territory often unrecognized as professional in medical education. The manner in which SPs are seen and treated by faculty and students may be a reflection of how real patients are seen and treated—not always heard, not always respected—and this tension detracts from both simulated and real patient encounters. Exploring how SPs, as proxies for real patients, are treated in medical education is a key to what we might learn and how we might close gaps in cultural respect and, ultimately, in patient care.

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An Interview with Five Conference Attendees

At the Communications and Connections Committee’s invited presentation, How Do I Communicate and Connect with ASPE? The CommConn Committee Tells You How, committee member Dan Brown sat down with five volunteers to interview them about their conference experience. Here are their answers!

When was your first ASPE conference?

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Gender-Affirming Care with Transgender and Genderqueer Patients: A Standardized Patient Case


Lead author: Laura Weingartner, PhD, MS
Submitted by: Renee Wadsworth, SP-ed

Transgender and gender-diverse (TGD) people experience extreme health disparities and prejudice in health care settings. The lack of provider training around gender-affirming care for TGD patients has historically contributed to this inadequate care. Patient simulation is a crucial component of teaching medical students about gender-affirming care because it allows students to practice and become more comfortable with these skills in a low-stakes setting.

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It Is Not Just the Script that Matters: Overlooked Elements in Standardized Patient Methodology


By: Sandra Jaramillo-Rincón, MD, MHPE, Juan Manuel Potes, MD
Submitted by: Nicholas Gonzalez, The Gordon Center at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Standardized patients (SPs) range from individuals looking for additional work to full blown actors and actresses, to somewhere in the middle. This article entails what advantages SPs have and what skills they bring to the table regarding the teaching/learning process. The authors go into detail discussing the training and further development of acting, thematic, pedagogic, and planning and leadership skills among their SPs.

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Aportes de la Simulación al Desarrollo del Razonamiento Clínico en Estudiantes de Pregrado de Medicina


Lead Author: Soledad Armijo, MD
Submitted by: Leonardo Pérez, Claudia Arancibia & Iván Silva, Clinical Skills Center, University of Chile

La simulación clínica en Latinoamérica ha ganado relevancia como herramienta formativa en las últimas décadas. En la formación de pregrado en Medicina, el cómo enseñar razonamiento clínico de la mejor manera aún requiere de consenso. Armijo-Rivera y equipo comparte en la revista de la Federación Latinoamericana de Simulación Clínica (FLASIC) una revisión del uso de simulación clínica con pacientes simulados como una excelente alternativa para “promover el desarrollo de aptitudes procesales, la comunicación con los pacientes, la entrega de los pacientes, el razonamiento ético y el trabajo en equipo” además de integrar información y ayudar a la toma de decisiones. También advierte que se requiere de estudios longitudinales que consoliden esta base de conocimiento, dado que el razonamiento clínico en medicina es un constructo complejo de enseñar y de evaluar. Así, queda abierta la invitación a investigar y socializar nuestras experiencias en simulación clínica con pacientes simulados en el mundo hispano hablante.

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Use of Standardized Patient Encounters as Predictors of Fieldwork Performance: A Pilot Study

Lead Author: Linda Frasier
Submitted by Karen Lewis, The George Washington University SMHS

Although standardized patient encounters (SPEs) are being used in occupational therapy (OT) education, limited literature exists on the value these experiences have on OT student learning outcomes and preparation for fieldwork. This study sought to examine if SPEs had the potential to predict Level II A fieldwork performance

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Pursuing a Medical Career While Black: What it Takes and Why it Matters

Authors: Saul Weiner and Stefan Kertesz
Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson, University of California Riverside

“Making it into and through medical school is tough even for those who have all the advantages: excellent schools starting at a young age, well-educated parents who may be doctors themselves, lots of role models and…white skin. In this episode we hear from two pre-meds and one newly minted physician, all Black, about their journeys with few of these advantages. Despite their remarkable optimism, their burdens are evident, and many do seem tied to race, as it is understood in the US. The extreme underrepresentation of Blacks in medicine should be a source of deep concern for the profession and for society, as a matter of social justice as well as patient care. The passion of these young men and woman is inspiring, and the mentorship opportunities provided by pipeline programs like the I Am Abel Foundation, which has been central to their lives, offers hope.”  

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ASPE Plenary: Celebrating Our Past, Imagining Our Future: 3 Presidents Reflect


By Daniel C. Brown, Emory University

Monday morning in New Orleans, the first full day of ASPE’s 2022 conference included a plenary address from three prior ASPE Presidents: Tamara Owens, Grace Gephardt, and Rob MacAulay. The trio regaled the audience with stories from ASPE’s history, reminded the crowd of recent and current accomplishments, shared a vision for the future, and issued calls to action for ASPE members.

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Annual Literature Review from the ASPE 2022 Conference

Submitted by: Janice Radway, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

It was a pleasure to be back in-person for our 2022 annual conference! One of the highlights every year is the review of published literature in SP methodology, usually run by Dr. Karen Szauter. This year, the job was handed into the capable hands of the Grants and Research Committee. Before they got into the literature, they gave a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Szauter, which culminated in a standing ovation for our esteemed colleague. The committee hailed this literature review as a “celebration of our work”. For 2021, there were 200 papers reviewed, narrowed down to 12 they presented in this session. 6 themes emerged from the work: SP Voices in Social Justice, Addressing the Gap Between Education and Clinical Practice, SP Professional Identity, Advancing SP Educators as Authors, SPs as Assessors, and Interprofessional Education/Program Improvement. A full list will be posted on the ASPE website and added to the existing bibliography here.

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