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Involving Patients in Health Professions Education

Involving Patients in Health Professions Education

PLEASE NOTE: These modules have now been transferred to the HEE e-Learning for Health platform and should be accessed via

No new accounts should now be created. Please follow the above link to access the modules.

This suite of modules will be completely decommissioned in September 2017, from which point it will no longer be accessible.

The focus of this module is on how health professions teachers can involve patients in teaching and learning situations while balancing the (often) competing needs of both patients and learners. We use the word ‘patient’ throughout, as this reflects much of the research literature, whilst acknowledging that different professions (and indeed service users themselves) use and may prefer different words.

We begin by examining the wider clinical context of patient involvement and empowerment, and the ethical dimensions of involving patients in learning encounters, and go on to consider specific aspects of involving patients in clinical teaching.

By the end of the module you should have clarified your understanding of patient involvement in clinical teaching and some of the educational strategies, approaches and methods that can be used in the clinic and at the bedside, as well as some commonly used alternatives  to ‘real patients in real clinical situations’. You will be aware of some of the ethical and practical considerations to be taken into account and will also have an opportunity to apply the learning from the module to your own practice through carrying out activities and reflecting on these.

Before you start

Before you start the module we recommend that you spend a few minutes thinking about the following points and noting down some of your thoughts. If you are registered on the site, you can do this in the ‘reflections area’. Click on the ‘my area’ link at the top of the page to access your personal pages. Please note that you must be logged in to do this. Please also note that you will need to contribute to the ‘reflections area’ during the course of the module in order to complete and print out your certificate.

Thinking points
  • What have been your experiences of involving patients in teaching and learning (either as a teacher or as a learner)?
  • Have you had any formal education or training in involving patients in education, and if so, what are some of the key principles you remember?
  • What do you think are the main reasons we need to think carefully about how, when and whether we involve patients in clinical teaching and learning?
  • What are your main reasons for studying this module? i.e. what are your learning needs?
  • What aspects of your teaching or clinical practice are you hoping to improve?

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Further information

More information about this module, further reading and a complete list of glossary terms.

Learning activities

Read about the recommended learning activities for this module.