Using Standardized Patients for Formative Feedback in an Introduction to Psychotherapy Course
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Standardized patients (SPs) were used in a 9-week Introduction to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy course for 11 first-year psychiatry residents. After 7 weeks of coursework, each resident conducted a simulated initial psychotherapy session. The SPs used were experienced in simulating psychiatric disorders and were free to use as much or as little personal history as they wished. Session ratings by the SPs afforded written feedback to the residents. The sessions were videotaped and selected segments viewed and discussed by the class. Residents kept their tapes and were encouraged to review them on their own and with their supervisors. Residents, SPs, and class instructor all rated the experience very positively. Standardized patients may be a useful adjunct to psychotherapy education. They can provide valuable learning opportunities without giving rise to concerns that complicate the videotaping of actual patients.
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