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Simulating 'that jaw drop moment': challenging heteronormative assumptions in a novel clinical consultation skills session with undergraduate medical students


Canty, J and McBain, L and Gray, L, Simulating 'that jaw drop moment': challenging heteronormative assumptions in a novel clinical consultation skills session with undergraduate medical students, MedEdPublish, 10, (34) pp. 1-19. ISSN 2312-7996 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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This has been published under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license. (

DOI: doi:10.15694/mep.2021.000034.2



This paper discusses the design and impact of a clinical consultation skills session for undergraduate medical students in context of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics. Existing teaching approaches omit opportunities for application and skills practice. This innovation seeks to address this gap.


Senior medical undergraduate students participated in actor-facilitated standardized simulated patient role-play. The scenarios utilized a structure akin to the end of year final observed objective structured clinical examination. Plando-study-act cycles involving facilitator observation, verbal and written feedback from students and actors, confidential student evaluations, and peer evaluation contributed to session modification and improvement.


The teaching session offered students the opportunity to practice exam-style simulated patient consultations, communication and empathy skills. Improvements made following the first iteration were reflected in positive student evaluations in the second iteration.

Discussion and Conclusion

Simulated consultations using standardised scenarios represent an accepted format for medical education. We demonstrated it is possible to include topics that frequently give rise to discrimination and stigma from medical professionals whilst maintaining expected learning outcomes. Student evaluations identify the acceptability and value of the topics for medical education. We present a viable option for integration into medical education.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:medical education, sexualities, LGBTIQ+, assumed heteronormativity, simulated consultation
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health inequalities
UTAS Author:Canty, J (Dr Justin Canty)
ID Code:145435
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2021-07-21
Last Modified:2022-05-17
Downloads:6 View Download Statistics

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