First- and second-year students at Wake Forest University School of Medicine were expecting a standard lecture on the brain and nervous system. Instead, a semi-conscious,// vomiting “patient” was rolled into the lecture hall and the doctors-to-be were asked to help manage the case.
“SimMan?,” a reproduction of an average-size adult, is more than a typical mannequin. The simulated patient makes realistic heart, lung, and bowel sounds and can be programmed to have various medical problems – which students can work to treat. Students can also use SimMan to practice procedures such as giving injections and inserting urinary catheters or breathing tubes.
Many medical schools use such computerized simulated patients to teach clinical skills. Wake Forest is one of the first schools to use this technology in live large group lecture settings to teach basic science principles.
“Using a ‘live’ clinical scenario to emphasize basic science learning allows students to understand the clinical relevance of the subjects they are studying,” said Michael Fitch, M.D., Ph.D., an emergency medicine specialist, who developed the teaching scenario. “What I think is really great about the concept is to create a learning environment that engages the students actively – as opposed to passively observing a lecture.”
Fitch, whose Ph.D. is in neuroscience and who directs the emergency department’s simulation program, was asked by James Johnson, Ph.D., who directs the neuroscience courses taught to first- and second-year students, to develop a simulation to help teach basic science principles.
Fitch organized a team of resident physicians to help him implement the emergency medicine scenario. He has received a Brooks Scholarship in Academic Medicine, made possible by two former faculty members, to pursue the idea and to develop other scenarios. He was invited to present the project at a recent meeting of the Society for Academic EmergePage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
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