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A new age approach to an age old problem: using simulation to teach geriatric medicine to medical students

BACKGROUND:
simulation-based teaching is increasingly used in medical education, but no studies have evaluated its impact on learning in geriatric medicine. We developed and delivered a simulation teaching session on delirium, falls, elder abuse and breaking bad news. Simulation mannequins, professional role-players and simulated clinical documentation were all incorporated into scenarios. We evaluated the effect of this intervention on student learning and on students’ attitudes towards geriatric medicine.
METHODS:
third year Newcastle University MBBS students at Northumbria base unit received the simulation-based teaching session. Students’ knowledge was assessed using a three question test mapped to learning outcomes for the elder abuse, delirium and falls stations. Each student undertook the test on three occasions: the day before the teaching session, immediately after the session and ∼1 month later, allowing evaluation of learning over time. Test scores were also compared with those achieved by another cohort of third year MBBS students at a different base unit, who received traditional ward-based and didactic teaching but no simulation teaching.
RESULTS:
student knowledge improved significantly after the simulation session and this was maintained when reassessed a month later. Students who received the simulation-based training outperformed those who received usual teaching. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the vast majority of students agreed that the session had a positive impact on their perceptions of geriatric medicine.Discussion: our findings demonstrate the efficacy of simulation-based teaching in undergraduate geriatric medicine, its acceptability to students and its positive influence on students’ perceptions of the specialty.

via A new age approach to an age old problem: using s… [Age Ageing. 2013] – PubMed – NCBI.

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Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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