Medication Reconciliation Simulation

Publication ID Published Version
9275 November 28, 2012 1
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine


This teaching case has been used with 3rd and 4th year medical students to teach topics pertaining to medication reconciliation including safe and effective medication use.

A standardized patient, 3 faculty members, and an administrative assistant were used to accomplish the goals of this case. Specifically, a standardized patient interrupts a classroom session and asks for assistance in figuring out which medications she is taking. Furthermore, the patient wishes to know if her medications are responsible for the side effects she is experiencing. The standardized patient has some prescription vials, some drug samples, an incomplete medication list, a telephone number for her pharmacy, and a telephone number for her doctors’ office.

Students are tasked with telephoning the “pharmacy” and the “doctors’ office” and interviewing the patient, in conjunction with using the resources provided by the patient (incomplete medication list, prescription vials, and drug samples), to synthesize the patient’s medication list. By completing this exercise, students will simultaneously encounter patient- and systems- related difficulties that lead to medication-related problems (e.g. lack of communication between healthcare providers, poor communication between patient and provider, etc.), and they will evaluate the signs and symptoms with which a patient presents in the context of the medications she has been taking. Moreover, students will discuss whether the medications are appropriate for the medical conditions that the patient has. Furthermore, during the debriefing session, students will discuss each medication with the patient to educate and empower her to take a more active role in her own medication management.


Karpa K. Medication Reconciliation Simulation. MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2012. Available from:

Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education

Educational Objectives

  1. To gather a medication history for a patient using available resources and synthesize an accurate medication list for a patient.
  2. To identify a patient’s chief complaint in the context of medication-related adverse effects.
  3. To discuss patient-specific and system factors that impact accurate medication utilization.
  4. To provide patient education for each drug on the medication list to empower patient’s involvement in care.


  • Medication Reconciliation


  • Medical
    • Family Medicine
  • Dental
    • Critical Thinking


  • Interpersonal & Communication Skills
  • Knowledge for Practice
  • Patient Care

Professional Interest

  • Communication Skills
  • Evaluation of Clinical Performance
  • Patient Safety/Medical Errors

Instructional Methods

  • Case-based Instruction/Learning
  • Problem-based Learning (PBL)

Academic Focus

  • Basic Sciences
    • Pharmacology/Toxicology

Intended Audience

  • Professional School
    • Medical Student


  • Standardized Patient

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ISSN 2374-8265