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The Web: Medical school rounds -- online

Great story about the use of the Internet to train medical doctors.
By Gene J. Koprowski
United Press International

Published 10/27/2004 10:47 AM
CHICAGO, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- A medical student makes his rounds, examining the lacerated foot of a patient, checking in on a newborn baby and visiting with a 90-year-old grandmother. It is a longstanding tradition in the study of medicine -- except this student performs all the tasks with a few simple mouse clicks. What has been done for generations in a hospital setting now is being done on the Internet. Today's medical students are learning to practice medicine on simulated patients, before they ever place a stethoscope on the chest of a real, live cardiac patient."The future is bright for simulations in medical school," Dr. Kate Worzala, co-director of the Jefferson Medical College clinical skills center, a part of Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, told UPI's The Web. "We are moving more toward being able to prove competencies with simulations. Medical students can show us that they are capable of doing certain procedures."During the last few years, medical schools around the country have begun using online simulations to help students learn, just a few years after they started using PC-based and other interactive educational tools."Virtual patients allow students the ability to gain experience -- without patient risk," Dr. Michael Seropian, co-director of the Oregon Health and Science University's simulation and clinical learning center, told The Web. --The Web is a weekly series by UPI examining the global telecommunications phenomenon known as the World Wide Web. E-mail  sciencemail@upi.com

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