Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Simulating Medical Situations Helps Students Learn, Retain Basic Science Concepts

Date:
July 14, 2009
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
Simulating medical scenarios helps medical students learn and retain vital information, according to a new study.

Simulating medical scenarios helps medical students learn and retain vital information, according to a new study done by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

The study, recently published in Medical Teacher, shows that medical students not only enjoy patient-simulation experiences but also learn more from them, said Michael T. Fitch, M.D., Ph.D., the senior author of the paper and an associate professor of emergency medicine at the School of Medicine.

"There's no question that people like it," Fitch said. "People really enjoy participating in an immersive learning environment. The purpose of this study was to find out whether this also makes our students learn and retain knowledge better."

For the study, first-year medical students received a traditional lecture on basic neuroscience concepts from a faculty member, followed by a brief questionnaire in an informal class exercise two days later.

Three days after that, without further discussion of the questionnaire or receiving answers, those same students participated in a 90-minute live simulation of a medical emergency. Students were told that the patient – "SimMan," a computerized mannequin that can be programmed to have different medical problems – had altered mental status, nausea and vomiting.

A team of physicians played the roles of EMS workers, nurses and family members, and the students worked through the decision making process to arrive at a diagnosis. The physician running the simulation stopped action periodically to lead the group in discussion of the basic neuroscience concepts being learned during the scenario.

Typically, such simulations are used in small groups and in clinical settings, but the School of Medicine started experimenting with the use of simulation in student neuroscience lecture settings in 2006.

Immediately after the simulation, the students were presented with the same four questions they were asked following the lecture. Their answers showed that they were much more likely to demonstrate mastery of the information by answering all four questions correctly on the post-simulation test than on the post-lecture only test, Fitch said.

For two of the four questions, significantly more students chose the correct answer on the post-simulation test than on the post-lecture test, while little or no change was seen on the other two questions.

"We're interested in developing new and innovative ways to teach medical information," Fitch said, adding that the results of the study could spur medical schools to consider more large-group simulation exercises in addition to traditional lectures.

"Seeing how things apply to clinical practice is very important in medical training. Students may remember a specific patient encounter and anchor that memory to the information provided, which can improve learning and lead to long-term retention of information."

Co-authors of the study are James E. Johnson, Ph.D. and Ashley Brown, B.S., of the School of Medicine. Corey Heitz, M.D., M.S., a co-author who was a resident at the School of Medicine at the time of the study, is now at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Simulating Medical Situations Helps Students Learn, Retain Basic Science Concepts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090714085822.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2009, July 14). Simulating Medical Situations Helps Students Learn, Retain Basic Science Concepts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090714085822.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Simulating Medical Situations Helps Students Learn, Retain Basic Science Concepts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090714085822.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins