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Interprofessional Standardized Patient Exercise (ISPE): The Case of “Elsie Smith”


Interprofessional Standardized Patient Exercise (ISPE): The Case of “Elsie Smith”

University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine
Josette Rivera, MD, Michi Yukawa, MD, Amber Fitzsimmons, DPTSc, PT
Donald W. Reynolds Foundation
Geriatrics Academic Career Award (GACA)
POGOe Id: 
Date Posted: 
Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 
Ok Peer reviewed Peer reviewed

Interprofessional education (IPE) occurs when students/trainees of two or more healthcare professions engage in learning with, from, and about each other, and is viewed as a primary mechanism through which to improve interprofessional teamwork and the quality and safety of patient care. This Interprofessional Standardized Patient Exercise (ISPE) was created to provide health professions students with a structured learning experience working within an interprofessional health care team. The case of “Elsie Smith” involves multiple complex chronic medical conditions in an older adult with many needs and limited resources. It highlights the need to address medical, functional status, and social domains, among others, and accordingly is designed to be relevant to many health professions. It can easily be adapted according to the types of health professions students available. At our University, participants were from seven schools or programs: dentistry, medicine, nursing, nutrition, pharmacy, physical therapy, and social work. All students were in their 3rd or 4th year, except for the nurse practitioner and social work students, who were in their 2nd year of training, and dieticians completing a one year internship. Students work in interprofessional teams to interview the standardized patient and create an integrated, comprehensive patient care plan. Faculty facilitators from participating schools/programs observe the students and lead debriefing sessions.

Educational objectives: 
  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with students from other health professions.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to efficiently interview and assess a patient with multiple chronic illnesses, showing sensitivity to a patient’s personal needs and resources.
  3. Students will develop a comprehensive care plan in collaboration with other health professions students to meet the patient’s healthcare needs.
  4. Students will describe the role of other healthcare professionals in caring for a patient with multiple chronic illnesses.
Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

This material was initally posted on MedEdPORTAL:

Rivera J, Yukawa M, Hyde S, Fitzsimmons A, Christman J, Gahbauer A, Scheid A, Wamsley M. Interprofessional Standardized Patient Exercise (ISPE): The Case of “Elsie Smith”. MedEdPORTAL; 2013.

Learning resource types: 
Estimated time to complete: 
3 hours
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: 
No, I (we) have nothing to disclose.
Already Expired Email Date: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 2:57pm
Already Expired Email 1 month date: 
Friday, March 16, 2018 - 1:36am
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:
Josette Rivera, MD

Suggested Citation:
Interprofessional Standardized Patient Exercise (ISPE): The Case of “Elsie Smith”. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2014 Available from: