Teaching Clinical Decision-Making with Computer-Simulated Patients
To practise medicine means that one has to make decisions. The simple fact that not all decisions doctors make are based on sound reasoning, is probably the most important reason why we are meeting here. Hcwever, if we want to teach doctors hew they should go about making correct decisions, we should also pay attention to the future generation of doctors. During the last years in many medical schools curriculum planners have tried to replace disease-oriented education by problem-oriented education. I suppose that most of us will regard this shift as a wise development. The student who is trying to solve a problem will have to make many decisions both in the diagnostic process as well as in selecting the best treatment. So when we let medical students solve clinical problems they can exercise their skill in making decisions. It goes without saying that this teaching method should not interfere with the well-being of our patients. For that reason various simulation-models have been developed. The arrival of the computer has brought us an aid opening whole new vistas for simulation.
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