Over at Ah, Yes, the Fake Doc continues to impress me with a possibly-still-kinda-drunk post about interviewing "standardized patients." These are, in a nutshell, actors hired to play the part of patients, so medical trainees can hone their skillz with history-taking and exams (although not even the med schools that are literally off-Broadway actually have the students do much by way of examining; the actor/patient gets a little card with various results and outcomes listed). I had enough to say in response that I'm copying myself here.
1) I just read something in (an admittedly last-year-ish) JAMA about how lame standardized patient "encounters" are. I think the jist of it was, "wow, these suck, but I guess they're slightly above totally useless." I'm paraphrasing.
2) Speaking as a dude with a Theatre Arts degree, who is now heading into the medical-education meat grinder, my first day with a standardized patient is going to be the BEST DAY EVER.
Pt: "I, um, have this chest pain. It feels like--"
Me: "Bullshit. I didn't believe that for a second. What objective are you supposed to be playing? Are you trying to bring that weak-ass Uta Hagen crap in here? Are you? Huh? Oh, does this bother you? Criticism of your lousy technique? You want to cry? Yeah? Well, imagine that irritation you're feeling toward me is coming from your chest... Okay. Now do it again."
Ahhh, I miss undergrad sometimes.