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Despite the rise of patient-centred care and shifts in medical education from teacher-centred to student-centred paradigms, simulation-based medical education (SBME) is predominantly developed and implemented by medical professionals. Nestel et al have proposed ‘patient-focused simulation’ (PFS) methodology as a means of authenticating patient perspectives by involving real patients in the development and implementation of SBME. PFS offers a ‘complementarity model’ of medical education that values equal perspectives from patients, students, clinicians and teachers.1 This reflects contemporary partnership models of healthcare, and may herald another cultural shift in medical education. Paediatrics, with its focus on family-centred care, offers an important and previously unexplored paradigm for PFS.
What problem was addressed?
When SBME curricula are developed without the input of real patients, they run the risk of reflecting teachers’ preconceptions.1 The teacher-centred approach is predicated on two major assumptions previously described in the literature: first, that faculty members and simulated patients (SPs) can replicate real patients’ knowledge, actions and emotions; and second, that faculty-developed learning objectives are the most appropriate.2
To combat these limitations, PFS methodology has been described as a means of authenticating the patient perspective in SBME involving clinical and procedural skills with adult patients.1 3 As with patient-centred care, PFS methodology seeks and acknowledges the ideas, concerns and feelings of patients, thus aligning clinical skills with preferences for care. However, paediatric medicine is unique in its promotion not only of patient-centred care, but also of family-centred care, which values the primary importance of family in the social context of illness and …
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