FSU Medical Students Looking for Patients

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Janice Bland is being checked out by Mai Vo, a first year FSU medical student. It's part of the school's standardized patient program.

"Human beings are different. They respond and act in different ways and you have to be prepared in how you are going to respond to people and how they are going to respond to you," says Vo.

The medical students perform everything from mock head to toe physical exams to rectal and breast exams. Before each exam the patients are taught by qualified medical staff to show various symptoms in every situation. The patients also receive a little cash for their mock visit.

"Students are getting a wonderful opportunity to not only practice their clinical skills, but also enhance their communication skills between not only physician and patient, but with each other," says Bland.

"We feel strongly that our patients need to reflect the population that our students are going to be working with, so we are always recruiting to be sure that we are able to expose our students to the type of people who live in their community," says FSU assistant professor Sarah Sherraden.

Bland served as a nurse for a number of years and says during nursing school, students practiced either on dummies or one another. She feels serving as a specialized patient will help better prepare the next generation of medical professionals.

Those interested in taking part in the program can contact the FSU Medical School at 850-644-9800.