Consumers and Communication
Consumer & communication strategies

Contrast two approaches to consumer involvement in classroom training for healthcare professionals - simulated patients and experts.

Skills: Consumer Input

Many medical schools and schools of health sciences engage simulated patients in formative learning and summative assessment. Meanwhile, the consumer movement promotes the merits of lived experience of illness, diagnosis and treatment, or caring for someone who has lived through this experience. Educators must choose between these two approaches when inviting guests into the classroom. My initial, meagre attempt at comparing these two approaches is freely available online at but it is weak on material from the academic press.

Please help me find published material and other insights that will inform this debate and help educators make an informed decision about who to engage, that will relate their decision to the particular kind of learning they are hoping to engender in students, and that will enable educators to become more mindful of the potential benefits and hazards associated with each approach.

Ideal Applicant

I assume that both approaches have some validity, but may be appropriate in different circumstances and when different learning objectives are in view. It would be hard to work on this project if you believed that either approach was by definition invalid. My early inquiries to the world of simulated (or standardised) patients yielded zero response, but I cannot believe that this issue is unexamined territory. Applicants will need to be curious about this topic, willing to send out some inquiries as well as check online libraries, and keep a practical focus on useful messages for busy educators. The deadline is artificial, as this online resource will be updated whenever new material comes to light.

Not accepting further contributions

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