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.