The Volunteer Simulated Patient (SP) Program is an initiative developed by UNSW Medicine which helps develop our junior students into leading doctors of the future.
Should you choose to be involved in the program, you will work with junior medical students in our purpose built Clinical Skills Centre (CSC). The focus of interactions is to develop students' communication skills. This includes their ability to initiate and maintain respectful interactions with patients and to develop rapport so that patients feel able to divulge all relevant information during a consultation. Some sessions may involve playing the role of a patient or being examined - or a mixture of the two!
The sessions take place on the upper campus of UNSW, in the Wallace Wurth Building along Barker Street. We pride ourselves on a program which boasts a loyal group of community members who love engaging with our students and supporting their learning. New participants are very welcome and encouraged to join our team.
Conflict of Interest
Please be aware that if you have a family member (eg child, grandchild, niece/nephew) or close family friend who is a current UNSW medical student, due to the assessment element, unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the program.
If uncertain, or your contact details have changed since you registered and we need to update, please select 'No'.
To participate, please register your details below (* indicates compulsory field)
Year 1 History Taking and Year 2 End of Phase Exam Practice Sessions
15 - 25 October & 30 October
In these session, volunteers will be interacting with either Year 1 or Year 2 medical students in the same session.
If working with Year 1s, you will be given a detailed patient scenario focussing on the muscoloskeletal and peripheral nervous systems. Students will practise their consultation and communication skills with you by asking about your "complaint". You will be sent your comprehensive scenario well in advance of your chosen day. You are not expected to memorise every detail but you should feel comfortable embodying the role. The more believable you are as the "patient", the more the student will learn and hopefully attempt to react appropriately to the situation in front of them. These are short interviews and the students will not be disagnosing your concern. Rather, they will be practising how to take a history and learning how to listen and show an appropriate level of empathy and concern.
If working with Year 2s, you will be assisting them to prepare for their exams in November, by allowing them to take a short history from you (not your own - you will be sent a scenario), and conduct a (non-invasive) examination. A senior student and student observers will be present throughout.
Because of the large number of students, we run 20 sessions. You may choose whichever time and day suits you best and select more than one if you have some flexibility. Each day Session 1 runs from 12-2pm and a light lunch will be on offer from 11.30am. Session 2 runs from 2.30-4.30pm with afternoon tea offered beforehand. Please carefully indicate your availability below. You will be contacted with a confirmation closer to the time.You will need to arrive 15 minutes before your session starts for a briefing.
The easiest and fastest way to get to the Clinical Skills Centre is generally by public transport. Due to building work on Barker Street and for the new Health Precinct on Botany St, traffic congestion has severely increased around the upper campus. Parking can also never be guaranteed but if you do require a parking permit we will happily purchase one for you and post it out. This needs to happen at least 10 days' in advance of your session to ensure its arrival.
OSPIA (Online Simulated Patient Interaction Assessment) is an innovative way for students to learn communication skills. It provides SPs who wish to assist us away from campus the chance to conduct interviews with students. Generally taking place at home, using your own computer, the sessions provide students with another important opportunity to hone these skills. In this case, we provide training allowing the SP to be patient AND assessor, and the system allows SPs to easily provide feedback to the student on their performance.
Thank you for your support
If requested, please follow the instructions to 'verify that you are not a robot'. Then click 'Submit Registration' to complete your registration.
If you require any assistance with this form or have questions please contact Kiran Thwaites: email@example.com or phone 02 9385 2550.
Do you know someone else who might be interested in volunteering? Please feel free to forward the link to this page.
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