Earning Salary As a "Patient" ?

Amused by the title of this post, eh? Well, I agree, this post would probably not be in sync with what this blog is about, but then I think it will surely be amusing to the medico-readers of this blog.

On the other side of the physician education spectrum, exists an amusing 'career', if you will, of playing the patient!

Anyone who has taken, or intends to take OCSE-style exams like the USMLE Step 2 CS, might have wondered at some point about what kind of money do these patients, or rather 'standardized patients' or 'simulated patients' make, for playing their role in educating & testing budding doctors.

The online SP job requirements section on the ECFMG website says these standardized patients are paid 18.5 $ an hour on the job and 16 $ an hour during training.

True, mannequins and virtual patient animations exist, but nothing is as good as a real as far as medical education is concerned.

Jefferson University pays 18 to 20 $ to the hour, while The Ohio State University College of Medicine pays $10 per hour of training and $12 per hour for exam performance.

Job Requirements ? 

These are extracts from the same article linked above:

"are interested in medical education, can teach students and "love working with students."

"Qualifications include the ability to act and retain information and good communications skills"

"you not only have to be good at giving verbal feedback, you must be good on the computer. Because after your exam, you'll give feedback to evaluate the student"

This is not something new, but I feel these roles are probably becoming more important in the recent years of managed care - hard to see the link why ? Well - managed care has left the physicians in the academic centers hard pressed for productivity, with less time and enthusiasm to waste 'revenue generating time' on teaching medical students. Now, if this is happening in an institute like Harvard Medical School, then it must pretty much be real serious problem..Medical schools will have to find more innovative ways to deliver high-class education to the students.

Useful books:
1.First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2011
2.First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CK
3.First Aid for the USMLE Step 2 CS

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