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Actors play patients to train medical students for real-life work

17 January 2017

The Straits Times Mind Your Body carried an article on the role of actors in medical education, who help students polish their bedside manners, long before they reach a real patient's bedside. The actors take part in elaborate role plays, simulating patients to help mimic the challenges of hospital work. NUS has around 160 such actors, while the LKCMedicine has around 100. Apart from helping students work on their soft skills, this group of people serve as live models for anatomy lessons. LKCMedicine Assistant Dean for Clinical Communication Training & Student Welfare Dr Tanya Tierney, said the sessions make students more aware of what they say and how they say it. "Whether you smile at the patient, whether you make eye contact, how you listen to someone - all these things can help develop trust and build rapport," she said. Sessions were recorded on video for students to see if they have nervous tics that they are unaware of, such as clicking a pen while talking to patients.

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