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

Format Publication ID Version Published
Case 9011 1 October 4, 2011


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; 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 (MeSH), IPE


  • Dental
    • Communication & Interpersonal Skills

Competencies Addressed

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

Academic Focus

  • Clinical Sciences
    • Clinical Skills/Doctoring

Professional Interest

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

Intended Audience

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

Instructional Methods

  • Standardized Patient

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