Inter- professional simulation: Integrating occupational therapy students into a medical student virtual hospital

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review


Introduction: Inter-professional learning (IPL) is one way of improving patient outcomes. Integrating occupational therapy into an existing medical student virtual hospital was introduced aimed at enhancing IPL.

Objectives: To trial and evaluate an integrated occupational therapy and medical approach to IPL in a virtual hospital environment.

Method: The university medical program developed a simulated “University” Virtual Hospital (UVH) in 2013. UVH extends paper patients to virtual patients accompanied by multi-media resources. Medical students form clinical teams, conduct a virtual ward round and then meet in a larger group lead by a clinical facilitator. This structure is a successful part of medical student learning. In 2016, the UVH experience was enhanced by the inclusion of occupational therapy students in both the clinical teams and the facilitated tutorials. Specific cases were selected for input by the occupational therapy students and occupational therapy clinical facilitators assisted in the combined facilitated tutorials. Evaluation of the student experience over three consecutive years was conducted via student feedback surveys.

Results: A key finding is that students need to have a sense of own professional identity to be confident to participate in an inter-professional learning environment. Medical students have limited understanding of the scope of how occupational therapy can contribute to better patient outcomes.

Conclusions: The UVH experience demonstrated that meaningful IPL is possible, however requires a commitment across professions. By partnering, IPL takes on a more realistic environment and gives students and facilitators some unique insights into the roles that other team members play.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-109
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
EventOccupational Therapy Australia 29th National Conference 2021: Inspired Insights for Brighter Futures - Virtual
Duration: 23 Jun 202125 Jun 2021


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