Also found in: Wikipedia.
(1) Any of a number of interactive computerised patient simulations which are part of a collection that resides on a computer or server. Virtual patients are used to teach medical students or junior doctors clinical logic by an algorithmic approach, leading one down various pathways ranging from correct management of the virtual patient to a completely wrong diagnosis with the patient dying and the student doctor getting sued
(2) A real and healthy person who has an arrangement with the medical school or hospital to play act like they have a specific disease and provide specific answers to medical students as they attempt to arrive at the right diagnosis, or
(3) A graphics-rich simulation of one or a limited number of environments in which a particular skill—e.g., laparscopic surgery—is learned, à la ‘flight school simulation’