Did you know that medical students may be asked to diagnose “patients” who are actually actors? Those actors are given symptoms to display, and they do so quite well—sometimes a little too well!
A University of Virginia School of Medicine student found himself treating such a theatrical patient exhibiting a range of ailments that pointed to abdominal aortic aneurysm, as he had been directed to do.
His performance was convincing. So convincing it saved his life!
Abdominal aortic aneurysm is fatal to an alarming amount of patients, with less than 80% surviving, according to the National Institute of Health.
While conducting the practice exam, the med student noticed that the actor displayed these symptoms a little too convincingly, and the student discovered the actor actually had the medical condition he was thought he was just pretending to have!
Thanks to the med student’s intuition and the lucky fact that the actor was in the right place at the right time, he was advised to be looked at and treated immediately.