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  Communicating with the Tired Patient Design Team

"Communicating with the Tired Patient (Version 2.0)"


Design Team
  Team: Siaw-Teng Liaw, Gregor Kennedy, John Marty, Terry Judd, Mike Keppell and Ruth McNair


  Focus: Concept/Procedure Development
  Discipline: Public Health & Medicine
  Target: Undergraduate (early)
  ICT used: Interactive multimedia on CD-ROM
  Scope: One learning session

Designer's Summary


Communicating with the Tired Patient is a CD-Rom resource which aims to assist medical students with their clinical communication skills, and to help them develop an integrated biopsychosocial approach to identifying a patient’s problems.

Students are asked to play the role of the doctor in a simulated clinical interview. As the doctor, students listen to up to four audio options comprising questions they could potentially ask the patient. The student selects what he or she believes to be the most appropriate question given the current state of the interview and then views the patient’s response via an audio/visual display. Students are able to see the ramifications and implications of asking different questions by listening to and observing the patient's response. Students are challenged to reflect on specific sequences in their interview through expert "Comments and Questions".

As students progress they are able to view a transcript of the interview at any time which allows them to review the questions they have asked, the patient's response, the expert comments made and their own notes. Students can complete an introductory tutorial before they begin an interview and they are supported by a glossary and a library of microskill resources as they conduct their interview.

Rationale for Inclusion


This exemplar has been selected for inclusion for the following reasons:

  • The learning design represents an example of situated learning.The interactive multimedia program was designed by requiring the users to play the role of doctor in a clinical encounter.
  • The learning design implementation utilises ICT to faciitate the achievement of learning outcomes.This learning design could be implemented without the use of technology (e.g., use of actors) however, this would be costly in both time and resources.The abilities to repeat an interview, provide a uniform interviewing experience for a cohort of students, and enable students to examine different interview responses were some of the reasons why the use of ICT was attractive.
  • The exemplar represents a learning design currently in use in medical education.
  • The learning design could be adapted for a range of discipline areas.

Please Cite As:

  Liaw, S., Kennedy, G., Marty, J., Judd, T., Keppell, M. & McNair, R. (2002). Description of Communicating with the Tired Patient (Version 2.0). Retrieved , from Learning Designs Web site:
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