Paul Perea

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Higher stakes now exist for standardized patient programs to deliver student performance success in light of the required USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills exam. Identifying and increasing the educational return on the financial investment for these programs is critical as programs are challenged to demonstrate their value to the organization. Rising expectations and finite budgets create an impetus to provide quality outcomes in the most efficient way. Implementing the instructional design process creates systematic training through a scientific approach to training and evaluation. A structured training methodology provides an effective means to interpret the outcomes of a training cycle. This method permits the trainer to identify and adjust for the multitude of variables influencing a standardized patients performances within a typical training cycle. After conducting an analysis of training materials, it was apparent that there are no documented benchmarks for training standards or evaluation of various training practices. An instructional design approach was selected to standardize the training process and allow for continued evaluation and improvement. This structured training process is in development, and soon will be implemented as a pilot study. A number of indicators show a need for intervention in the training process: (1) high rate of trainer turnover, (2) variations in training practices and (3) analysis of training outcomes. Benefits of this structured approach to training include (1) the creation of internal standards of practice, (2) knowledge retention of effective training practices, decreased preparatory time per training, and (3) a means to identify and correct less effective training outcomes. Ultimately, these measures promote return on both financial and educational investment by the institution.'

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University of New Mexico School of Medicine


ROI, return on investment, SP training programs, cost-effective instruction