University Of Tasmania

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Teaching professionalism through virtual means

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 05:28 authored by McEvoy, M, Butler, B, Geraldine MacCarrickGeraldine MacCarrick
Objectives:  Virtual patients are used across a variety of clinical disciplines for both teaching and assessment, but are they an appropriate environment in which to develop professional skills? This study aimed to evaluate students’ perceived effectiveness of an online interactive virtual patient developed to augment a personal professional development curriculum, and to identify factors that would maximise the associated educational benefits. Methods:  Student focus group discussions were conducted to explore students’ views on the usefulness and acceptability of the virtual patient as an educational tool to teach professionalism, and to identify factors for improvement. A thematic content analysis was used to capture content and synthesise the range of opinions expressed. Results:  Overall there was a positive response to the virtual patient. The students recognised the need to teach and assess professionalism throughout their curriculum, and viewed the virtual patient as a potentially engaging and valuable addition to their curriculum. We identified factors for improvement to guide the development of future virtual patients. Conclusion:  It is possible to improve approaches to teaching and learning professionalism by exploring students’ views on innovative teaching developments designed to augment personal professional development curricula.


Publication title

Medical Teacher










Informa Healthcare

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Pacific Peoples community services not elsewhere classified

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    University Of Tasmania