Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In the news: God bless the 'standardized patients'

How much money would it take to get you to undergo a digital rectal exam for the sake of helping to train a med student? At the University of Wisconsin, $15 an hour is the going rate for 'standardized patients'; 'teaching associates' get up to $50 an hour. Snip:
'Standardized patients' get $15 an hour to complain about ailments from shoulder pain to fatigue. 'Teaching associates' receive $36 to $50 an hour, depending on their level of experience, to guide medical students through gynecological exams for women and genitourinary exams for men. 'Teachable moments' range from getting students to ask specific questions to elicit specific answers (not 'Do you drink?' but 'How many drinks do you have a day?') to sharpening technical skills that could mean the difference between finding tumors or not. 'I tell the students that they're never again going to have the experience of a patient saying, 'Move your finger a little more to the left if you want to feel my ovary,'' said Jane Crone, director of the teaching associate program.


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