Effective doctor-patient communication is a fundamental clinical
function in order to avoid false medical diagnosis and the wrong medical
treatment. There is considerable institutional variability in how communication
skills are taught and assessed in medical education. In many medical faculties,
standardized patients (SPs) are used to educate and evaluate communication
skills. The standard patient method has been used in medical education since 1960s.(REF) Professional actors behave as standardized
patients to describe in a complete and consistent manner the story of a
particular illness to those who will work in the health sciences. However, attempting
to develop skills such as patient interviewing, interpersonal communication and
diagnosis by using this method may be difficult due to the cost and
accessibility of trained standardized patients. It is challenging to reach actors who can describe diseases in a
standard way and costly to recruit many actors constantly. Besides, finding
standard patients like children or elderly people can be truly tough.
There is an increasing need to expand the current medical education
environment with innovative and diverse learning techniques.