Educational AffairsOffice of Clinical Simulation

About Us ~ History of the Program

From ORME to OED to OCS

Following a meeting in October 1970, the need for the evaluation of the new curriculum as it was implemented to bring about improvements in its effectiveness promoted the establishment of a new organization for curriculum evaluation. The new organization was called the Office of Research in Medical Education (ORME) and the activities of the new organization were of two types. They were charged with maintenance and reform of medical education and professional development of the members of the office.

The 1970 curriculum reform at UTMB sprang from concerns about the learning environment (e.g., too much formal class teaching) and neglected curricular objectives (e.g., lack of behavior science education). The curriculum reforms deemed desirable in the 1980s and 1990s were based upon serious concerns that medical education was not meeting the optimum ways in which students learn.

One of the areas of significant curricular development and reform involved the Simulated Patient Program. In the 1970 curriculum, students interviewed actual patients during their freshman year, which immediately proved to be impractical because the student did not know what to do. A new course was established in 1971 called the Introduction to Patient Evaluation (IPE) and it was the first course at UTMB to use simulated or trained patients.

A simulations laboratory was established to train individuals in the community to simulate patients. This laboratory was first established in the Division of Biomedical Communications and later transferred to the Office of Educational Development (OED). The existence of the laboratory had great impact on educational reform because it enabled OED to develop innovative examinations and use simulated or trained patients for instructional purposes.

In September of 2013, the Standardized Patient Program moved into the newly formed Office of Clinical Simulation under the direction of Dr. Karen Szauter.