The Value of Virtual Patients in Medical Education

  • Naveed Saleh
General Issue


In this systematic review, I examined the use of virtual patient simulations as a medical teaching tool. Virtual patients are computer-based patient simulations used to educate and test medical knowledge and skills. I concentrated on Western systems of medical education and limited my search to English-language journal articles published from 2005 to 2010. I examined potential advantages and disadvantages of virtual patients, results from experimental studies on virtual patients, and practice-based tips. A chief finding of my literature review is that research supports the proper integration of virtual patients into medical curricula. One limitation of the use of virtual patients is that development can be expensive and resource intensive. One solution is the creation of a virtual commons or online community where resources are shared.


virtual patient medical education virtual commons 


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Copyright information

© Association for the Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Texas A&M UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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