Korean J Med Educ.  2010 Dec;22(4):283-289.

Breast Examination Instruction by a Standardized Patient Instructor

  • 1Department of Medical Education, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. crystal@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2START Medical Simulation Center, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


The purpose of this research was to identify the effectiveness of a standardized patient (SP) instructor. The study was performed to compare the effects of two types of instruction on breast examination skills by an SP instructor and a professor.
Fifty-four medical students in the third year and 4 SPs participated in the study. In a pretest, each student was judged by the SP individually in performing a breast examination and completed a questionnaire about perception. Next, students were randomly assigned to 2 experimental groups (small-group instruction by an SP instructor or professor). A posttest of performance and perception was administered using the same procedures as in the pretest. To identify the effectiveness of the SP instructor, differences in student scores between the groups were analyzed by t-test.
In the posttest of student performance on the breast examination, there was no significant difference between the groups (p=0.270). With regard to student perception, scores on self-confidence in the breast examination were significantly different (p=0.026) between the groups, of which students who received instruction from the professor showed a higher level. Additionally, there was a significant effect on students' perceived reliability of instruction by the SP instructor (p=0.011), and students who were instructed by the SP demonstrated higher reliability compared with professor-taught students.
Instruction by an SP instructor has the same effectiveness as instruction by a professor. SP instructors have very powerful effects on student performance and perception.


Patient simulation; Teaching; Physical examination

MeSH Terms

Patient Simulation
Physical Examination
Students, Medical
Surveys and Questionnaires
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