History and Physical Learning Center
The H & P Learning Center was developed to support medical education, evaluation, and research. It uses standardized patients to create simulations of history and physical findings of real patients. Standardized Patients are individuals trained to present a patient's history and physical examination findings in a consistent manner. They are also trained to evaluate the clinical and interpersonal skills of individual medical students. Students are involved in many projects utilizing the H & P Learning Center and standardized patients during the Doctor/Patient Relationship Course.
The Fundamentals of history taking consists of five introductory history taking sessions presented by Rebecca Galante, M.D. in the first half of the freshman year. To aid in the development of history taking skills, students participate in several projects involving hands-on training with standardized patients in the H & P Learning Center. In addition to the introductory history taking sessions, students are involved in a series of preceptor visits. Each student is paired with a local area family practitioner. The student shadows the preceptor in a primary care setting. As the student develops history taking skills, he/she interviews patients seen in the preceptor's office. Preceptors critique the student's write-ups and provide feedback so improvement can be made on their history taking skills. At the end of the history taking instruction, students are evaluated by standardized patients in the H & P Learning Center.
The second semester of the freshman year continues with teaching the Fundamentals of the Physical Examination. This portion of the curriculum consists of ten sessions presented by Rebecca Galante, M.D. and Maryann Fumo, M.D. Each week a portion of the physical exam is presented first by demonstration on a standardized patient, and then by having students pair up to practice. Standardized patients are also used in a series of teaching sessions in the H & P Learning Center to provide students opportunities for hands-on experience in the physical exam. Students examine standardized patients from "Head to Toe" in several H & P Learning Center Projects. The history and physical exam instruction culminates in a testing session using standardized patients in the performance of a Head-to-Toe Physical Exam in the H & P Learning Center.