Virtual Patient

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A virtual patient (VP) is “a type of computer software that simulates real-life clinical scenarios, in which the learner emulates the role of health care provider to obtain the history, conduct examination, and make diagnoses and management decisions.” [AAMC, 2007]

This guideline focuses on VPs that aim to foster clinical reasoning or directly are related to those skills. Those scenarios unfold in time, and are available on desktop computers or mobile devices, accessible with a web browser or installed application. Typical VPs consist of text description of the cases narration extended by multimedia material (e.g., audio clips, x-rays, MRI scans etc.) and interactive elements that help to structure the clinical reasoning process. We do not include in this guideline VP in immersive virtual reality environments (i.e. require a  mixed/virtual reality headset), haptic devices (interfaces for controlling the simulation using the sense of touch, force feedback, gestures), any form of mannequins and part-task trainers or simulation in which the role of the patient is played by human.

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