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Ellis to Develop Patient Simulations as Member of National Consortium

Avery K. Ellis, MD, PhD

Avery K. Ellis, MD, PhD

Published June 19, 2014

Avery K. Ellis, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine and physiology and senior associate dean for medical curriculum, is one of eight faculty members from top U.S. institutions chosen to create simulations used by medical students.

Augmenting Education with Virtual Learning

Students use the simulations to interview and examine animations of patients, order and review diagnostic tests, develop diagnostic hypotheses and create treatment plans.

They are guided by online feedback at every step of the simulation.

Working on simulations is far more beneficial for students than just reading about the diseases in textbooks, emphasizes Ellis.

“These very sophisticated patient simulations will round out the education of third-year medical students,” he says.

He adds that encounters with Web-based patients complement the experiences UB students have at the Behling Simulation Center.

Writing Internal Medicine Cases for Simulated Patients

Ellis will create simulation cases about such topics as:

  • heart failure
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • electrolyte abnormalities
  • syncope

Susan J. Gallagher, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine and director for third- and fourth-year internal medicine clerkships, will author the scenarios in conjunction with Ellis.

Consortium Members Hail from Prestigious Institutions

The cases are being prepared by faculty from UB and:

  • University of Chicago
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Northwestern University
  • Tufts University
  • Rush University
  • Stony Brook University

American Medical Association funding supports the consortium. It was formed by the developers of the i-Human Patients platform, a cloud-based service giving medical students interactive encounters with virtual patients.