A medical student turned a training session with a fake patient into a real lifesaver when he accurately diagnosed the actor with the real disease he was pretending to have.
Jim and Louise Malloy have been acting as fake patients for training sessions at the University of Virginia School of Medicine for years. The couple describes a variety of maladies for students who then come up with a diagnosis based on their symptoms.
In March, Jim was pretending to be a patient with an abdominal aortic aneurism, a condition that causes a section of the lower aorta to enlarge. The condition is typically seen in men over 65 years and could be fatal if it bursts.
Medical student Ryan Jones was examining Malloy, and "heard and felt" symptoms of a real aneurysm. "I said, 'I think I found an aneurism,'" Jones recalls to WDBJ. "He played along because that's his job, and so I'm like, 'Does he actually know he has this?'"
The supervising physician recommended that Malloy go see a cardiologist, and lo and behold, he was officially diagnosed with an aneurism. He underwent surgery in August and is now back to full health.
"I was surprised to learn what had happened," said Jones. "I feels great to know that I made a difference."
Jones is currently interviewing for residency slots on his way to becoming a radiation oncologist. We don't think it'll be too long before someone snatches up this promising doctor for their hospital!
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