On March 6th and March 27th, 2021, 61 HCOP high school and undergraduate students had the opportunity to take part in the virtual clinical immersion experiences with the Body Interact™ virtual patient simulator.
The students were able to use the Body Interact™ virtual patient simulator to envision their role as physicians. The session #13 case featured a patient who dealt with severe lung infection (possibly due to COVID-19) and the session #14 case featured a patient who dealt with kidney stones and related infection. Students were able to ask questions, perform virtual physical exams, order virtual tests and, ultimately, treat the virtual patients in the cases assigned to them in the week prior to the Saturday session. The students also had the opportunity to review additional cases as well in the week after the session.
During the virtual session, students were able to meet with the class instructor, Dr. John Stone, MD, PhD, who led students through the diagnosis and treatment of the virtual patient and gave students an inside look into the thought processes and procedures of a physician. In addition, students broke into groups to try their hand at problem-solving the case and came back to share their conclusions and questions with the group. The session ended with a Q & A segment where students asked great questions ranging from the pandemic, to preparation for medical school, to working in the medical field.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the ability for in-person clinical experiences, the chance to engage in five virtual experiences over the course of the HCOP Health Careers Ambassador Program has provided invaluable experience to students.