Objective: to measure the effect of training with a virtual patient (VP) simulation system on clinical skills of healthcare professionals in Africa.
Methods: A randomized controlled intervention was carried out at Yaounde Central Hospital (Cameroon). The intervention consisted of two groups training on one of the two clinical vignettes implemented in the VP simulator. Four actors were trained to play standardized patient (SP) roles. The clinical skills (performance score) of participants were assessed on both clinical vignettes using these SPs.
Results: Twenty medical students from FMSB were recruited. The difference in overall score was observed between participants who received training from the VP system (higher average) and those who did not receive the training (lower average). This difference is statistically significant, especially when the focus is on participants' scores in the relevant items for proper management of the case.
Conclusion: This study suggests that the training with a medical consultation VP simulator can develop the operational clinical skills of the user.
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