Purdue Gets $1.6M to Create Virtual Patients

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) – Purdue University has received a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help medical, nursing and pharmacy students learn how to counsel people to quit smoking using “virtual patients'' and educational assessments.

Purdue pharmacy Professor Karen Hudmon is leading the project that will develop teaching and learning tools.

Hudmon says tobacco use is the primary known preventable cause of disease and death in the United States and results in enormous health care costs. She says it is well established that the most effective method to quit is a combination of counseling from a health care provider and the use of medication to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal. But she says most health professional schools are not adequately preparing students for that role.