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Virtual Patient Challenge

Brenda Du Plessis's picture
Attention ALL Faculty and Students Interested in Virtual Patients THE CHALLENGE: The Canadian Healthcare Education Commons – Collaboration pour l’éducation en santé au Canada (CHEC-CESC) is proud to announce the first annual CHEC-CESC Virtual Patient Challenge. Cash and prizes will be awarded to recognize excellence in e-learning among Canadian healthcare educators and learners and highlight the utility of virtual patients for learning, teaching, and assessment. Based on the prize categories outlined below, submissions are invited from students, residents and faculty at recognized Canadian healthcare education institutions. Your challenge is to create a virtual patient case using one of the two free virtual patient authoring tools featured this year: Diagnosis X or OpenLabyrinth. The winning submissions will be selected by a panel of faculty members and CHEC-CESC representatives and featured at the 2009 Canadian Conference on Medical Education in Edmonton, May 4th. Judges will be looking for virtual patient cases that (a) represent interesting or challenging clinical scenarios; (b) show creativity and innovation in meeting specific needs and challenges; and (c) demonstrate the use of sound pedagogical principles. Submissions must be received by April 10th, 2009. PRIZE CATEGORIES: 1. McGill Molson Medical Informatics Award Open to students and residents only Prizes: 1st place $1000; 2nd place $600; 3rd place $400 2. PINE OpenLabyrinth Awards Open to faculty, students and residents Prizes: To be announced SUBMISSION DETAILS BY AWARD: McGill Medical Molson Informatics Award The McGill Molson Medical Informatics Award is open to students and residents enrolled in a Canadian healthcare institution recognized by the AFMC. Competitors are expected to create a virtual patient case using the DiagnosisX application DiagnosisX DiagnosisX was created to simulate a patient encounter. It is designed to allow healthcare students, and practitioners, the opportunity for unlimited practise at interviewing and examining patients, ordering tests and imaging and patient care management. DiagnosisX allows learners to develop, modify and prioritize differential diagnoses as they work through the virtual patient case. At the end of the case, the student is able to compare himself or herself to an expert, and take advantage of evidence-based rationales provided by case authors. DiagnosisX allows virtual patient authors to publish their cases directly to the Web. Technical Requirements: • PC • Internet 7 • DiagnosisX authoring software [free download] • Microsoft .NET framework [free download] For further details and information on the McGill Molson competition please contact: PINE OpenLabyrinth Awards The OpenLabyrinth competition is open to faculty or students (with the support of a faculty advisor) at a Canadian Healthcare institution or school recognized by the AFMC. Competitors are required to submit a virtual patient case using the OpenLabyrinth application. OpenLabyrinth OpenLabyrinth is a free and open source online activity modeling system that allows users to build interactive ‘game-informed’ educational activities such as virtual patients, simulations, games, mazes, stories and algorithms. It has been designed to be adaptable and simple to use while retaining a wealth of game-like features. OpenLabyrinth is licensed under an Academic Free License (AFL). Typically, OpenLabyrinth authors create a visual representation of their activity’s pathway using the Vue topic-mapping tool from Tufts ( and then convert it into a playable virtual patient using OpenLabyrinth. A guide to using OpenLabyrinth can be found here: Technical Requirements: Open Labyrinth is a server-based program that can be accessed over the Internet. Those with knowledge of installing Microsoft web applications can run their own version by getting the code from Sourceforge ( or they can request guest accounts on the NOSM/PINE server by contacting Dr Ellaway. (see below) For further details and information on the PINE competition please contact: Rachel Ellaway, THE SPONSORS: CHEC-CESC The Canadian Healthcare Education Commons - Collaboration pour l'éducation en santé au Canada (CHEC-CESC) is an initiative of the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC). Its mission is to support the healthcare education community by providing an inter-professional platform of web-based services, a database of pedagogical resources, and collaborative tools for educators and learners. CHEC-CESC encourages the active sharing, development, and exchange of evidence-based resources, materials, and pedagogical tools including virtual patients or electronic cases, and enhance communication among healthcare educators and learners throughout Canada. The CHEC-CESC initiative is expanding and extending healthcare education in Canada, promoting a culture of participation, emphasizing synergy, and encouraging the sharing of evidence-based learning resources, and highlighting the unique Canadian contribution to healthcare education and e-learning. McGill Molson Medical Informatics The mandate of the McGill Molson Medical Informatics Project is to further the utilization of e-learning and e-teaching technologies in healthcare education, support collaboration and sharing among the Canadian healthcare academic communities, and highlight the potential of healthcare education informatics internationally. PINE The Pathways for Interactive Narrative (PINE) Education project is funded by Inukshuk Wireless to produce a series of 60+ virtual patients from medicine, nursing, midwifery and other interprofessional domains that will be released for public use and reuse under a Creative Commons licence. PINE is a collaboration between the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, McMaster, Laurentian and Ryerson universities and Confederation College and involves participants from other institutions throughout Ontario. PINE is using the OpenLabyrinth platform to create and run its virtual patients. TO NOTE: Submissions created using DiagnosisX will be eligible for the McGill Molson Medical Informatics Awards. Submissions developed with Open Labyrinth software will be eligible for the Open Labyrinth Awards. For more information, please contact: Catherine Peirce Project Manager, CHEC-CESC Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada 613-730-0687 x239