Designing the VPs
The careful design of a virtual patient (VP) collection is a crucial aspect to foster deliberate practice of clinical reasoning and is often neglected in the development of case collections. A random VP collection represents the real world only to a limited extent with regard to disease- and patient-related aspects. Moreover, without deliberate planning the collections are often underrepresenting minority groups, such as LGBT patients, patients with migration background or patients with disabilities. Therefore, we defined criteria for our VP collection and carefully planned the collection based on these criteria before starting the development of the virtual patients. These criteria included:
- Disease-related aspects, such as key symptoms, final diagnoses, and onset of disease
- Patient-related data, such as age, (non-binary) gender, sexual orientation, profession, ethnicity, or disability.
- Encounter aspects, such as the learner’s role in the scenario and the setting (e.g. practice, rural or university hospital)
Finally, we mapped each virtual patients to national competency frameworks in France, Poland, Germany, Spain, and Portugal.
References and further information
- Details of the planning process described in our report
- Urresti-Gundlach M, Tolks D, Kiessling C, Wagner-Menghin M, Härtl A, Hege I. Do virtual patients prepare medical students for the real world? Development and application of a framework to compare a virtual patient collection with population data. BMC Med Educ. 2017;17. (Link)
- Kassirer, Jerome P. (2010): Teaching clinical reasoning: case-based and coached. Acad Med,85 (7),1118–24. (Link)