My COVID Experience, a True Learning Experience

Author: Derek Ratliff
Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson

My name is Derek Ratliff, and I am an SP (and Event Assistant) at Emory University School of Medicine. I have been at Emory for nearly three years. It has been one of the greatest joys of my life! For some reason, I have always been drawn to the medical field. I remember fondly as a child that I wanted to be a doctor, which I know for children, that is probably one of the first things they say when asked the proverbial question “what do you want to be when you grow up.” However, when I got to college (UNC-Chapel Hill – GO HEELS!!!), I decided to become a pharmacist instead. I suppose I thought the challenges of being a doctor were just too great. But then I realized that being a pharmacist was not what I wanted to be either. So, I changed my major to music education midway through college.

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Diagnosed During a Pandemic

Author: Felisha McNeal
Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson and Marsha Harman

Can you tell our readers a little about yourself? My name is Felisha McNeal. I’m retired from the state of Illinois. I worked there for 30 years. I’m an actress and I had been acting while I was working full time and raising my daughter, for about the same amount of time, about 30 years. Then, when I won the Jefferson Award in 2013, I was very close to retirement and I had convinced myself that I would start acting fulltime and I would retire the following year, which I did. Maybe a year or two after I retired, I auditioned at Northwestern to do standardized patient work. I was fortunate enough to be chosen. Yeah, it was 2015 when I started working there. I’m trying to get with [other places]. But I do want to expand my standardized patient work. It’s such important work, that I do want to do it more.

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My COVID Story

Author: Tamara Bodnar
Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson and Mary Lander

March 13 was the day that everything changed. Chicago’s shelter-in-place would go into effect a week later, but that Friday I watched as all of my sources of income vanished thanks to COVID-19. Everything I was doing - preparing for a spring full of standardized patient work, music directing a production of Mary Poppins for a children's theatre, rehearsing for a cabaret, and gearing up for a busy audition season - came to a screeching halt. I'll never forget that feeling of uncertainty, the loss of control, the panic settling in of how quickly everything had gone down in flames and how I was going to get through it. I remember going over to a friend and fellow SP’s apartment for a night of baking, the mood somber as we processed the news of cancelled projects, lost paychecks and a precarious future together.

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My SP Story During COVID

Author: Mary Gray
Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson and Todd Lash

I graduated with a degree in theatre, specifically performance, from that school up north in the 1980’s. A job with a for-profit company brought me to Columbus upon the completion of my degree. The company transferred the Columbus native to the Detroit area, and me, the Detroit area kid, to Columbus. A bit of a joke on someone’s part, I suppose, and now home to me for over three decades.

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Introducing Telepsychiatry to Medical Students with Simulated Patients: An Innovation by Necessity

By: Michael Miller, Dawnelle Schatte, Karen Szauter
Submitted by: Marsha Harman, Rush Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation

The abrupt discontinuation of medical student-patient contact due to the covid-19 pandemic resulted in a rapid change to virtual teaching. Student education was restructured to include online cases, small group discussions, synchronous and asynchronous lectures, and modified problem-based learning and team-based learning sessions. However, the key focus of the clerkship experience, contact with patients, was missing. This article outlines the process and outcomes of one institution’s development of a simulated telepsychiatry visit for third year medical students in the Psychiatry Clerkship.

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Perspectives of Transgender and Genderqueer Standardized Patients

Lead Authors: Emily J. Noonan, Carrie Bohnert
Submitted by: Janice Radway, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Disparities in health and healthcare for gender minorities (GMs) such as transgender people are significant, and medical educators have a responsibility to ensure trainees master the clinical skills required to provide them with quality care. The authors implemented a standardized patient (SP) scenario designed to measure students’ ability to provide gender-affirming care and sought to understand the experiences and perceptions of the GMs who served as SPs in this case. Their key research question was: how do GM SPs describe the experience of serving as an SP on a gender-affirming care clinical case?

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In The Spotlight: Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine

Submitted By: Robin Lewis-Bedz

Full Center Name: Clinical Skills Training & Simulation Center

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ASPE Outstanding Educator Awards for 2020

By Kerensa Peterson

Every year, our membership recognizes two ASPE members for outstanding achievement within our organization. The first Outstanding Educator of the Year Award was given in 1998. Each year since that time, an SP Educator who has “been involved in human simulation education for more than seven years, [has] made significant contributions to the community, and [is] recognized as a leader within their own institution, the community, and in national and international organizations” has received the award.  This year the award was given to Dr. Tamara L. Owens, Founding Director of the Simulation & Clinical Skills Center at Howard University Health Sciences.

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In The Spotlight: University of Louisville School of Medicine

Submitted By: Carrie A. Bohnert

Center Location: Louisville, KY

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My Covid-19 Story from the SP Point of View

By: Johnnie Anderson
Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson, NBOME

Q: How has your experience as an SP changed since the pandemic? I miss seeing, sharing ideas and just talking with fellow SPs and working face-to-face with the SP educators, medical students and professionals.
Q: Have you had to look for other work? If so, what are you doing? I’m so grateful for what’s happening now.  Prior to the pandemic, I was teaching dance fitness in addition to SP work. At the inception of the Stay-at-Home orders and social distancing requirements, I put the creative juices to work after determining what brings me pleasure and fulfillment. Facilitating dance fitness was near the top of the list. Although, I was teaching in-person prior to and at the time the pandemic hit, I researched and decided to offer online classes. I’m so grateful for facilitating 3 classes a week plus occasional customized group classes via Zoom! Participation has been great. There’s a fee for each class, but I also offer “or pay what you can if you can” option. I want anyone who’d like to engage in a dynamic fitness program that’s truly good for the mind, body and spirit to join in.

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How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Challenging Medical Education to Be Better

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

With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve seen a drastic shift towards a desire to implement telemedicine across clinical practices. However, with growing case rates of COVID-19 among health care workers on the frontline, it seems too late.

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Twelve Tips for the Introduction of Emotional Intelligence in Medical Education

By: C. Roth, K. Eldin, V. Padmanabhan, E. Friedman
Submitted by Kathy Herzberger, Loma Linda School of Medicine

Medical Teacher has articles entitled “Twelve …” that I always find useful. This particular one provides twelve easy steps to help develop and introduce emotional intelligence into our curriculum. Developing emotional intelligence is vital to enhance patient centered care, clinical outcomes, patient safety, as well as team building.

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Impact of Standardized Patients on First Semester Nursing Students Self-Confidence, Satisfaction, and Communication in a Simulated Clinical Case

Lead Author: Kelly V. Johnson, EdD, RN
Submitted by: Marsha Harman, Rush University

Utilizing standardized patients (SPs) as a strategy to potentially improve beginning level nursing students’ confidence, satisfaction, and communication after simulated clinical cases is an innovative approach in nursing education. To examine how an SP encounter affects these three things, first semester undergraduate nursing students completed a simulation either an SP or high-fidelity manikin. Students who completed the simulation with an SP reported greater satisfaction and improved communication.

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Standardized Patients or Conventional Lecture for Teaching Communication Skills to Undergraduate Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Study

Lead Author: Pierre A. Geoffroy
Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson, NBOME Chicago

A group of researchers at Paris Diderot University conducted a randomized controlled study. They compared the effectiveness of teaching communication skills via standardized patients versus a conventional lecture format. The Standardized Patients helped the medical student perform 5 particular communication skills better than the lecture counterpart.

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What It’s Like to Examine a Fake Medical Patient on Zoom

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

The past few months have seen a great rush to get activities online, especially in the fields of education and medicine. At the intersection of these two fields lies a conundrum: How are trainee doctors supposed to practice examining patients when they can’t be in the same room as them? Since March, the Association of American Medical Colleges’ guidance has recommended medical students not be involved in any direct patient care in COVID-affected areas. But while medical students may not be essential, human interaction is essential to medical training. Enter: remote SPs.

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Monitoring Communication Skills Progress of Medical Students: Establishing a Baseline Has Value, Predicting the Future is Difficult

Lead Author: Kathleen Hanley
Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson, NBOME

A group of medical educators look for patterns in the development of communication skills in a cohort of medical students. The reported results show an overall increase in communication skills but leave a question for further research about whether or not an Introductory Clinical Experience at the beginning of medical school is a good predictor of performance on future communication skills.

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Autonomous Motivation in Medical Education

Author: Rashmi A. Kusurkar
Submitted by: Kathy Herzberger, Loma Linda University

The author has provided an interesting discussion that describes autonomous motivation and its necessity in the practice of medical education. Autonomous motivation is “motivation that arises out of genuine interest or personal endorsement or valuing of an activity”. This type of personal motivation creates life-long learners, which is a vital goal in medical education.

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Introduction to New Blog Series: Voices of the SPs During the Pandemic

Submitted by: Kerensa Peterson, NBOME

We, as SP Administrative Directors and Educators, have been so busy.  We’re engaged in trying to keep our programs running, reshaping the educational and technical frameworks of what we do and how we do it, and navigating social injustices and political pressures throughout the pandemic.  It’s been difficult to find moments to just pause and breathe.  As our field began taking that first collective breath, I found I was missing the voice of our SPs who have been absent from our daily work.  No longer passing them in our centers and chatting with them regularly, I longed to hear from them.

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Providing Remote Students with Access to a Video-Enabled Standardized Patient Simulation on Interprofessional Competencies and Late-Life Depression Screening

Lead Author: Melodee Harris, PhD, APRN, FAAN
Submitted by: Marsha Harman, Rush University

Standardized patient (SP) simulation is used to teach geropsychiatry. This project tested feasibility and effectiveness of video-enabled SP simulation to teach interprofessional (IP) late-life depression screening. The study focuses on the potential advantages of remote learning for students in rural areas, including savings on travel and faculty time. (In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, an additional advantage is the ability to continue simulation-based learning while maintaining social distancing.)

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Lessons in Finding Happiness During Hard Times

By: Sari Harrar
Submitted by: Michael Maury, UC-San Diego

Feeling good may be the last thing on your mind as the coronavirus pandemic grinds into its sixth month in America. As we struggle to revive after arguably one of the world’s worst health and economic calamities, is even talking about happiness self-absorbed and inappropriate?

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