Use of standardized patients to teach medical students about living organ donation

Katrina A. Bramstedt*, Ariff Moolla, Patricia L. Rehfield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Educators routinely use standardized patients to teach medical students a variety of clinical concepts. Standardized patients have also been used to teach students about medical ethics and deceased organ donation. Not reported before, however, is the use of standardized patients to educate medical students about the ethical issues in living organ donation. It seems important to fill this gap because in the United States, roughly 45% of organ donors are living donors, and these patients will visit physicians throughout their lifespan, not just with the occurrence of donation. This article reports an experience teaching concepts in living donation and transplant ethics to second-year osteopathic medicine students using a standardized patient and supplementary instructional materials (eg, film, panel discussion, reading list). Specifically, a transplant ethics module was created that included an actor portraying a living donor candidate who had a number of case variables pertaining to medical and psychosocial matters. Instructional themes included informed consent, altruism, patient selection criteria, organ vending, and post-donation support systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-90
Number of pages5
JournalProgress in Transplantation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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