Comparison of patient simulation methods used in a physical assessment course

Document Type


Publication Title

American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education


Objective. To determine whether there is a difference in student pharmacists' learning or satisfaction when standardized patients or manikins are used to teach physical assessment. Design. Third-year student pharmacists were randomized to learn physical assessment (cardiac and pulmonary examinations) using either a standardized patient or a manikin. Assessment. Performance scores on the final examination and satisfaction with the learning method were compared between groups. Eighty and 74 student pharmacists completed the cardiac and pulmonary examinations, respectively. There was no difference in performance scores between student pharmacists who were trained using manikins vs standardized patients (93.8% vs. 93.5%, p=0.81). Student pharmacists who were trained using manikins indicated that they would have probably learned to perform cardiac and pulmonary examinations better had they been taught using standardized patients (p<0.001) and that they were less satisfied with their method of learning (p=0.04). Conclusions. Training using standardized patients and manikins are equally effective methods of learning physical assessment, but student pharmacists preferred using standardized patients.



Publication Date