You may not be a patient...but how about playing one on Zoom?
Here's something I found out when we started our Physician Assistant program: Medical students learn how to work with patients by working with actors-pretending-to-be-patients.
Seriously. Who knew?
These are everyday people (some of them kiddos!) who come into the Health Sciences Center, read (or have their mommies read them) a script about their 'symptoms' and go into an examination room to complain about their imaginary aches and pains. Some of them even manage to look sick. And thanks (in part) to their performances, our students graduate ready to provide their future patients with great medical care, and to do it with insight and compassion.
Sounds like fun, right? Or at least an important contribution, right? And there have been times in your life when you have played sick, even just a little bit, right?
If you said, "Absolutely!," or even "I guess so," to any or all of those questions, we need you!
The PA program is looking for volunteers who want to play patients on Zoom to help our students develop their skills at delivering medical care online, through telehealth. Here's how PA program director Megan Blakemore describes it:
"As a volunteer, they would play the part of the patient. We would send them a script to read. They would answer questions from the student. Additionally, they could give their opinion about the interaction with the student. Did they feel comfortable. Was their eye contact?"
Easy, peasy -- right?
Interested? (Of course you are. I am, and I never play sick....). Just email the program at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them you have a headache. Or a rash. Or an overall sense that you're about to feel sick; you just need a script.
They'll be happy to hear from you.