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Table 4 Summary of advantages and disadvantages of VP as a learning tool identified in the qualitative analysis

From: The virtual patient as a learning tool: a mixed quantitative qualitative study

Advantages Disadvantages
 — Learning in the creation of logical and structured processes
 — More organized notion
 — Motivates students
 — Allows for making mistakes with no consequences
 — Integrate knowledge
 — There is no pressure from the professor
 — There is no pressure from the real patient
 — Intuitive use
 — Review and reassess the information available
 — Easy to use
 — Increases students’ curiosity
 — Useful early on in the career
 — The simulation may be repeated as many times as desired
— As the sole methodology, it becomes somewhat monotonous
— Some aspects cannot be simulated; it does not replace interaction with a real patient
— It does not suffice to provide for the complexity of medical doctor / patient interaction
— Complementary methodologies must be used
— Since it is a computer-aided simulation model, it may pose technical problems upon implementation thereof