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It is 2033. Medical trainees and practitioners, from first year undergraduates to consultant specialists and senior general practitioners no longer need textbooks. All their learning requirements are found on the virtual web. Practical procedures and clinical examination skills are practiced on ‘virtual patients’ with instant feedback and grading of competency. Only trainees who attain a grade of ‘highly competent’ or ‘expert’ on the World Council of Medicine's virtual assessment programme are allowed to perform and hone their skills on ‘real patients, in real clinical areas’.
For those of you that feel that this may be a drug fuelled Orwellian nightmare of things to come, welcome to the teaching and learning of clinical skills in the 21st century.1 Whether this is the correct method to learn skills remains to be seen but this …
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