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Arch Hellen Med, 33(4), July-August 2016, 439-446


Teaching of clinical skills: From simulation to real patients

M. Moirasgenti,1 E. Smyrnakis,1 K. Toufas,2 A. Benos1
1Laboratory of Primary Health Care, General Practice and Health Services Research, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Medical School, Thessaloniki,
2"AHEPA" University Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

Contemporary medical education waivers between providing integrated education and ensuring quality in healthcare services. Patient safety has become the main priority in medicine, causing serious problems and limitations in the training of undergraduate students in clinical skills with real patients. As a result, Clinical Skills Laboratories have gradually been developed worldwide and simulation-based education is currently considered an essential and integral part of the training of healthcare professionals. On the other hand, studies suggest that the acquisition of clinical skills is not possible without real patients. Other studies highlight major problems, apart from patient safety, in workplace-based education, including the significant reduction of hospitalized patients and the increasing workload of clinical tutors. The development of simulation and its integration into many medical curricula worldwide provided a solution for safe medical education. The question arises from study of the advantages and disadvantages of simulation-based education; whether it is sufficient for the acquisition and application of clinical skills in the real environment. The answer lies somewhere in between. Simulation-based education cannot replace training with real patients, but it can prepare for and add to it. An optimal combination of simulation-based education and training with real patients under supervision, with assessment and provision of feedback is the ideal solution for successful undergraduate education in clinical skills.

Key words: Clinical clerkship, Clinical skills, Clinical supervision, Medical education, Patient simulation.

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