Virtual patients in Occupational Medicine

Medical cases in the field of occupational medicine show how physicians, in occupational health or in clinical practice, are confronted with risk factors at work that endanger health. On the website of CASUS, 34 cases are presented in English, 17 cases in Spanish, and 17 cases in German (accessed 30 September 2021). Most cases in Spanish and German are also available in the English language series.

A variety of topics is represented in the cases such as the diagnosis of abdominal pain and consequences of a needle stick injury (health care workers), a workplace survey (risks in laboratory work), vibration white finger (forest work), running nose and breathlessness fits (bakery), mental health and low back pain (work stress), managing problems during a flight (pilot of an airplane), chemical exposure at work and toxicology (electroplating company). The English language cases are presented in the LDOH e-library as separate e-lessons.

Most cases contain a set of 20 – 30 cards, offering a scenario in medical practice. A card contains information about a worker or working conditions, a chart, cardiogram, X-ray photo, results of blood/urine tests, etc. Often, cards present a task or question. After sending an answer, feedback is given. After passing all cards, you will get a red or green mark (enough correct answers). If you are following a regular course in Munich, a tutor can give comments.

Some lessons are targeted at everyone who has basic knowledge in health care and occupational health. Other lessons demand advanced knowledge in medicine. Specific terms are explained, but not all.

General information about Virtual Patients & Work

The series of medical cases for medical students and physicians-in-training for Occupational Medicine has been developed by the Institute and Clinic for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine at the LMU university (Munich, Germany), often with the help of other institutes. The cases, developed in 2006-2013, are still present-day in many countries, and useful for education. Nevertheless, cases might be not up-to-date or valid everywhere, for example regarding diagnostic procedures, risk assessment tools, therapeutic interventions, or figures like incidence rates. Differences may be caused by differences in time periods, contextual conditions, or populations. Discussion about such aspects in a group, with a colleague, or with a teacher, is an essential part of the learning experience.

Practical. Clicking the link below connects to the Casus website. Make an account going to ‘Register’. Use your e-mail address as LOGIN, fill in a personal password. When registration is completed, LOGIN again, select if needed the English language (see, under your name, ‘Options’, ‘Language). Go to ‘Player’, you see ‘Courses available’, select ‘Virtualpatient-Work.Net – English course’. Select this case. You can complete a case once. Changing answers after completing is not possible.

Language(s):

English, Spanish, German

Original Authors:

Authors vary per lesson.

Original affiliation, ownership:

Institute and Outpatient Clinic for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

Year of publication:

1950

Charge for use or free:

Free of charge

Categories:

Target group(s):

graduate students, OSH experts; or in training

Usefulness for non-OSH-expert professionals:

More or less useful for non-OSH-expert professionals in health care or other sectors; or in training

Time demand to complete the lesson or course:

Each lesson can be completed within approximately one or two hours.

Comments:

See the separate lessons in this library. Some lessons require a medical background.

Intellectual property and copyright:

The lessons can be attended and completed online for free. No material may be copied. During the session, some private data will be stored. The learning materials can only be used if the user registers and accepts these conditions prior to attending the on-line lesson.

Before downloading, changing, disseminating and/or using the lessons and courses, please look carefully at the conditions given by the authors or owners of the materials related to copyright or creative common conditions or other conditions for the downloading, changing, further dissemination and kind of use of the materials (non-commercial vs. commercial).

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