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Simulation training in obstetric clerkship improves medical students' examination scores
Date:9/2/2011

Tampa, FL (Sept. 2, 2011) -- Medical students who practiced on a patient simulator before assisting in real-life vaginal deliveries scored significantly higher on their final examinations than did students receiving a lecture only at the start of an obstetric clerkship.

Results of the University of South Florida randomized, controlled trial appear in the September 2011 issue of the high-impact journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The USF researchers also found that students receiving simulation training were initially more confident of their ability to perform a vaginal delivery, although these differences narrowed over time as all the students participated in actual deliveries.

"The simulation training engaged the students early on," said lead author Dr. Shelly Holmstrom, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at USF Health. "As a result, they may have been more invested in the clerkship and absorbed the information more effectively and comprehensively. That may explain why these students scored higher on their oral and written examinations."

Previous smaller studies have looked at the effects of obstetric simulation training on student confidence, comprehension, satisfaction, and comfort in performing common obstetric procedures, including vaginal delivery maneuvers such as controlling the head, delivering shoulders and examining placenta. The USF study, which enrolled most students rotating through the medical school's maternal newborn clerkship last year, is one of the first, however, to evaluate simulation's effect on students' final examination and evaluation scores.

The study followed 113 out of 119 third-year medical students rotating through USF's four-week maternal newborn clerkship from February 2010 through January 2011. At the start of the clerkship, students were randomly assigned to either a traditional lecture on performing a vaginal delivery or a lecture followed by a hands-on vagi
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Contact: Susanna Martinez Tarokh
smartin1@health.usf.edu
813-974-3300
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert  

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