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Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative
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David Kissane, Barry Bultz, Phyllis Butow, and Ilora Finlay

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199238361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199238361.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

The role of the actor in medical education

The role of the actor in medical education

(p.607) Chapter 52 The role of the actor in medical education
Handbook of Communication in Oncology and Palliative Care

Paul Heinrich

Oxford University Press

The world of medical education has been transformed over the past forty years through the use of members of the public in role playing to teach and assess clinical and communication skills. Howard S. Barrows began to use ‘programmed patients’ in the early 1960s, and in a sustained creative burst, pioneered most of the subsequent applications of the method. Programmed patients are surrogate patients that have undergone a number of name changes that reflect the variety of functions that they fulfil, including programmed patients, professional patients, simulated patients, pseudo patients, standardised patients, patient partners, and patient instructors. They are most commonly referred to as SPs, an abbreviation that covers the more general term of simulated patient and the standardised patient for examination purposes. This chapter, however, refers to those who play the roles of SPs as actors. First, it explores the notion of different modes of performance, which determine the subsequent decisions on recruitment, training, feedback, and debriefing. Virtually all models of simulation with SPs consist of three distinct roles: actor, role player, and educator.

Keywords:   medical education, actor, role player, educator, programmed patients, role playing, performance, feedback, training

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