“Life Matters”, ABC Radio National, 18 Feb 2014:

Listen to Podcast

The Australian Financial Review, 19 Aug 2011, p. 3:

Click to View   [Click to view]

AAP, 17 Aug 2007 (carried by smh.com.au):

“Actors play patients for medical exams”

August 17, 2007 - 12:49PM

A Sydney hospital has begun hiring professional actors to play sick patients in university medical exams to give trainee doctors a “more realistic” treatment experience.

The University of Sydney’s Westmead Hospital Clinical School has started the unusual initiative for their obstetric and gynaecology exams, and said the results were an improvement on volunteer patients. Senior lecturer Dr Wendy Hu said she wanted to create fair yet challenging situations for students to learn how to relate to patients, as they should in real life.

“Using professional actors is fairer for students, and easier for us as educators than recruiting volunteers, which sometimes meant other doctors, med students, or office colleagues,” Dr Hu said.

The actors were hired from NAFA, a Sydney-based networking group of actors and filmmakers, with examiners reporting back a “definite improvement”.

Head of NAFA Tony Chu, who is also an actor and doctor, said his actors were able to reproduce the same dialogue and reactions consistently, for the sake of fairness in exam situations.

“Above all else, they have no emotional ties with the students,” Dr Chu said.

— © 2007 AAP