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“Learning by doing” has been the mantra of clinical education since the days of Osler. Simulation (for example, in laparoscopy or in enhancing communication skills) is a relatively recent teaching innovation. It allows for a controlled setting and minimization of patient risk and discomfort. The hope for any form of simulation is that it will be an effective pedagogic tool, a valuable adjunct to experience with real patients.1 Teaching physicians the skills to communicate well with patients at the end of life is a worthy goal, because it is profoundly beneficial to patients when done correctly.2,3
Chi J, Verghese A. Improving Communication With PatientsLearning by Doing. JAMA. 2013;310(21):2257-2258. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281828