Comprehensive programmed clinical simulations for cancer patient care

Medicine is an international language

James Fleck, MD, PhD: Anticancerweb 27 (02), 2022

Programmed Clinical Simulation (PCS) has been used both in clinical oncology training and in the cognitive approach of cancer patients. Medical students derive from PCS a valuable tool to exercise diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms, as well as to face challenges in the doctor-patient relationship. Medical students using PCS reinforce self-confidence even before their first contact with the patient in the real world. Patients and family members, identifying with the protagonist, learn how the anchor values are used to rescue emotional suffering, improve the doctor-patient relationship and overcome the disease. Shared decision making can only be validated if the patient has a clear and comprehensive understanding of the proposed interventions. PCS is an easy-to-use educational tool. The plot guides the protagonist's emotional flow in a light and sometimes even unexpectedly playful way. The turning point is an essential component of the problem-solving equation. This specific moment generates a consensual behavior directed towards cancer recovery. The table below lists thirteen PCS specifically chosen to provide a comprehensive assessment of the clinical presentation observed in the most common malignant tumors, worldwide.

The thirteen selected PCS encompassed almost 12 million people diagnosed with cancer in 2020, according to epidemiological data provided by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) collected in 185 countries and territories around the world. A similar incidence is added up each year. Improvements in early cancer detection and new therapeutic interventions lead to an increasing cumulative annual number of cancer survivors who could also benefit from PCS. As PCS are also used in the cognitive approach of families, the scope can be even wider. 

The proposed PCS can also be used as educational material for doctors and nurses around the world. A review article on Global Supply of Health Professionals, published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014, found 9.2 million physicians and 18.1 million nurses worldwide. Additionally, the article pointed to a global crisis of severe shortage and marked maldistribution of health professionals. Medicine is a universal language, and it is urgent to think globally about education of health professionals. PCS is a valuable tool to increase cross-national transfer of technology and expertise.

You can find the first nine PCS at by clicking on the book section shown in the menu. Please make your comments to actively participate in this collective intelligence program.



1.     Global Cancer Observatory: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), 2020

2.     Nigel Crisp and Lincoln Chen: Global Supply of Health Professionals, N Engl J Med 370: 950-957, 2014

3.     Photo by David Watkis on Unsplash (modified)