Training with virtual patients

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NERVE is a suite of tools and a library of interactive virtual patients available for use by practicing professionals, medical students, and academics.  It is available for both educational and research purposes.

NERVE has been integrated into the curriculum at several national medical schools. Over the last five years, more than 1000 medical students have interacted with NERVE virtual patients.

¤  Medical Education with NERVE

NERVE provides users the ability to learn about and practice interviewing, examining, and diagnosing patients with cranial nerve disorders. Recognizing cranial nerve disorders with virtual patients is important because cranial nerve disorders are rarely seen in real patients, difficult to imitate by standardized patients, and may have significant consequences if misdiagnosed.

NERVE is designed for first- and second-year medical students working as either individuals or in small groups (up to four per group).

¤  Human-Computer Interaction with NERVE

A question we ask with NERVE is: Can interacting with a virtual patient make you a better doctor?

An innovation behind NERVE virtual patients is that they can simulate the visual effects of cranial nerve disorders that are not possible with humans. NERVE virtual patients have been implemented to investigate learner self-reflection, gender and skin tone bias, and empathy.


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