Author: Hooper C, Michelle A, Law S, Jivram T, and Somasunderam A Publication Year: 2012
Summary: The ethics and e-Learning teams at St George’s, University of London (SGUL), in conjunction with medical students at the same institution, devised a number of Ethical Virtual Patient (EVP) cases as an educational tool to assist learning in medical ethics, medical law and medical professionalism.
Description: Virtual Patients (VP) have been used in medical education for over a decade. They are highly effective in engaging students and in improving their knowledge, clinical reasoning and decision making skills. The ethics and e-Learning teams at St George’s, University of London (SGUL), in conjunction with medical students at the same institution, recently devised a number of Ethical Virtual Patient (EVP) cases as an educational tool to assist learning about medical ethics, medical law and medical professionalism. Four of these cases were subsequently used in different teaching sessions and feedback was gathered from the students about their experience of using them. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. For example, the vast majority of students believed that the EVP cases were interesting and stimulating and a majority also thought that using these cases enabled them to develop ethical reasoning skills. Our EVP cases are the first of their kind and in this paper we briefly explain how the cases were developed and used in teaching sessions. We will also present the feedback that we collected from our students after they had been exposed to these cases. We conclude by arguing that the positive response from our students suggests that EVP cases represent a new and powerful method of teaching medical ethics, law and professionalism.
The authors of this paper also published a letter relating to their reasearch in Medical Teacher. This letter is available via the link below.

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