CBI Medical

Training medical students and health professionals at the Paediatric Mental Health Training Unit (PMHTU), School of Medicine, University of Adelaide.

PMHTU offers a unique training experience within the field of child, family, and adolescent mental health. It enhances the skills and confidence of clinicians working with young people and their families when in crisis. Experiential learning through simulated clinical scenarios forms the foundation of the teaching methodology.

Creating highly realistic individuals and families

Actors skilled in CBI Process create highly realistic individuals and families, complete with backgrounds and histories developed to replicate the kind of depth of knowledge any real individual might have about themselves. PMHTU’s Director of Performance, Robert Marchand, engages the actors in research, discussions and carefully-structured improvisations to develop the complexity of their ‘characters’.

Medical students meet these characters and their families in a simulation of a real consultation, a ‘vignette’ of the conditions the student will find themselves in once they graduate.

Simulated Medical Consultations Using CBI Process

For the medical student these vignettes are experienced as (at times uncomfortably) real consultations: the patient, family members and carer present as real people. Even though it is known they are actors presenting complex three-dimensional characters, the interaction enables the students to gain valuable insights into behaviours and problems. The immediacy of these dynamic, interactive, consultations is a valuable challenge, closely resembling the actual consultations these students will face later as professionals.

I want to thank you for the skills taught during my PMHTU sessions, following an experience on placement this past month. In my second week as a rural GP, a 19 year old male came in seeking help following a suicide attempt. If I hadn't completed PMHTU training last year, I would have been quite overwhelmed by the prospect of discussing this without any supervision…. Despite the time constraints of general practice, I performed a risk assessment. The supervising GP was genuinely surprised that I'd covered so much ground in under half an hour.

Dr. C.A.
Registrar, SA Health (Rural)