Journal articlesThe role of virtual patients in medical education: a review of the literature

The role of virtual patients in medical education: a review of the literature

15/09/17 | Education | Stephanie Kean

Virtual Patients (VPs) are an interactive computer-based clinical patient scenario used in medical education. To determine how VPs are used in medical education, a literature search and review was completed. Methods: A literature search was completed using Google Scholar. Keywords used were “Virtual Patient”, “Case-based learning” and “Medical Education”. Conclusion: VPs are a teaching tool used throughout medical education, using clinical cases to bridge the gap between knowledge and clinical practice. The impact of VPs has been equally as effective for medical students as traditional non-computer based methods. However, the role of VPs in specialities such as wound care is less clear and requires more evidence. This is part one of two articles. In part two, the author describes the development and application of a wound healing VP integrated into the medical curriculum at Cardiff University Medical School.