Kaltman ITEL Project Creates Simulations for Patient Communication

Professor Stacey Kaltman of the Psychiatry Department has been implementing a first-round ITEL project on Enhancing Teaching in Physician-Patient Communication to prepare students for the OSCE, a clinical examination that all medical students must take. After noticing the limitations in current traditional teaching approaches, Professor Kaltman identified online simulations as a strategy to teach both basic and complex communication skills to students.

As of right now, Professor Kaltman and her team, with the support of CNDLS, have nearly finished the first of three online simulations.  This first simulation uses Articulate software to teach students how to open an interview with a patient and gather medical history.  The screenshot below illustrates what the simulation looks like in practice.

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Professor Kaltman cited the storyboarding as the primary challenge of this first simulation because it had to be transferrable to the branching software program.  In the late fall, the actress for the first simulation, Amanda Vacharat, filmed her parts; this simulation is now in the formative testing phase. 

The other two simulations will hopefully be completed by this spring or summer. Once students prepare for the OSCE by using the simulations, Professor Kaltman will compare their examination results against those of students who did not use the simulations; she hopes to discover a positive correlation between the online simulations and OSCE scores. The project promises to have exciting implications for the Georgetown Medical School and the larger Georgetown community.

For more information about Enhancing Teaching in Physician-Patient Communication, please visit Professor Kaltman’s ITEL blog: https://blogs.commons.georgetown.edu/itel-spring2013-sk279/.