In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, HCOP has assumed a virtual format in all of its programming. One challenge that comes with a virtual program is providing students with valuable clinical exposure and experiences. This year HCOP is again partnering with BodyInteract™ Virtual Patient Simulator, a web-based program that allows students to assume the role of a healthcare provider.
Previously, HCOP session 2 in October 2021 provided the opportunity for the high school students to experience the use of the virtual patient simulation. The most recent session (on November 20th, 2021) provided the undergraduate students the same opportunity. Twenty-six (26) students were presented with a virtual patient exhibiting various symptoms, and the students had the opportunity to ask clinical presentation questions and utilize diagnostic testing to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan for their virtual patient. This process allows students to experience and improve upon their clinical reasoning - a key skill for patient-facing professionals.
The session was led by a clinician, Dr. John Stone, MD, PhD, who is an experienced cardiologist. Dr. Stone reviewed the case with the students and explained the diagnostic process. This experience gave the students the opportunity to “glimpse” the mind of a healthcare provider and to understand what is meant by “best clinical practices”. Students were also challenged with different questions and scenarios in breakout rooms which created a discussion of the case presentation.
At the end of the session, students had the opportunity to ask Dr. Stone any questions they had regarding his work as a healthcare professional and other questions relating to the virtual patient they were presented with as well as broader questions regarding the pandemic.
Student feedback from the event was very positive, with one student commenting "I loved speaking to Dr. John! The case was so interesting, I would love more cases!"