Interprofessional Standardized Patient Exercise (ISPE): The Case of “Paul Harris”

Publication ID Published Version
9011 October 4, 2011 1


Effective interprofessional education (IPE) enhances collaboration among healthcare professionals by engaging participants in authentic tasks, settings and roles. Using these guiding principles, this Interprofessional Standardized Patient Exercise (ISPE) was created to provide health professional students with a structured learning experience in working as an interdisciplinary health care team. The SP case of Paul Harris involves multiple complex chronic medical conditions and was designed to be relevant to many health professions. At our University, participants were 2nd and 3rd year students from five health professional schools: dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and physical therapy. Students worked in interprofessional teams to interview the SP and create an integrated care plan. Faculty facilitators from each school were present to observe the students and to lead debriefing sessions. The exercise takes approximately 4 hours. This case would also be relevant to other health professional students, including nutritionists, physician assistants, and social workers.


Staves J, Hossaini M, Kroon L, Lindsay C, Newlin B, O’Brien B, Topp K, Wamsley M. Interprofessional Standardized Patient Exercise (ISPE): The Case of “Paul Harris”. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2011. Available from:

Educational Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with other healthcare professionals.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to efficiently interview and assess a patient with chronic illness, showing empathy, and sensitivity to a patient’s cultural and personal needs.
  3. Students will develop a comprehensive care plan to meet the patient’s healthcare needs in collaboration with other healthcare professionals.
  4. Students will describe the role of other healthcare professionals in caring for a patient with chronic illness.


  • Team, Interview, IPE


  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Interprofessional Collaboration
  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Patient Care
  • Professionalism
  • Systems-based Practice

Professional Interest

  • Communication Skills
  • Evaluation of Clinical Performance
  • Health Education
  • Interprofessional
  • Personal Characteristics & Attitudes

Instructional Methods

  • Case-based Instruction/Learning

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Allied Health Student
    • Dental Student
    • Medical Student
    • Nursing Student
    • Pharmacy Student
    • Public Health Student
  • Professional School Post-Graduate Training
    • Resident


  • Standardized Patient

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