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Ethics virtual patients: a new pedagogical tool for educators?
  1. Carwyn Hooper
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carwyn Hooper, Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education, St George's, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE, UK; hoopercarwyn{at}


Virtual patient (VP) cases are interactive computer simulations of real life scenarios that have been used in medical education for over a decade. They are popular with students and staff alike and have been shown to improve knowledge retention, clinical reasoning and decision-making skills. Ethics virtual patient (EVP) cases are interactive computer simulations of real life scenarios which have a substantive ethical component. They can also contain significant legal and professionalism components. EVP cases have only recently been used in medical education, but there is growing evidence to suggest that medical students find them interesting, engaging and helpful. This paper will provide a brief overview of the way in which EVP cases have been used at St George's, University of London and explore the pedagogical rationale for using these cases to teach ethics, law and professionalism to medical students.

  • Education

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