Peter Buck, SPP actor, portraying a man wanting help to end his life.
Peter Buck, SPP actor, portraying a man wanting help to end his life

Experiential Learning with SPP

The University of Toronto’s Standardized Patient Program (SPP) produces meaningful experiences for learners at all levels. Through simulating the patient experience, SPP has been able to create a unique experiential learning opportunity. In the past year, two highlights for the program were the Annual Education Course for Coroners and Pathologists and Heart to Heart.

At the 2015 Annual Education Course for Coroners and Pathologists, Liz Siydock, Family Liaison Coordinator, and Dr. Michael Pickup and Dr. Bob Berckmans conducted a 90 minute workshop where two SP educators brought to life three different scenarios. The workshop helped attendees explore effective communication strategies in challenging circumstances – reflecting their daily reality. The learners benefited from the ability to explore and reflect without harm.

The annual 2015 Heart to Heart was a full Saturday SP-based retreat for health professionals working in palliative care. Dr Anita Singh designed this course based on her experiences caring for patients and care-givers in the community. Patients, family members, and health professionals in some very difficult situations were portrayed by SP educators. Each attendee participated in at least one scenario where they determined how they came across to patients, explored their effectiveness and learned how to fix the situation if a disconnect occurred with a patient. Working through these scenarios, healthcare professionals developed skills to improve the care they give.

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