Medical Student SimulationThought simulation is only for doctors and nurses? Think again! More and more, people are reconsidering the notion that medical simulation has only application in the clinical setting. By rethinking the narrow mind set, educators are learning that simulation can be used almost anywhere for anyone! Even to teach sexual health to teenagers!

The 2014 Simulation Society in Healthcare conference is coming up this weekend. Among all the great strides in research that will be presented is a poster abstract by Dr. Clare Desmond (@domerdr) and our team at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY. We discovered a paucity of research targeting young learners, in particular high school students. They also identified challenges in teaching sexual education to this group — specifically how to realistically portray the ultimate result of sexual choices, which is childbirth. You can’t exactly fit an entire classroom of high school students in a labor and delivery ward!

A brief observational study was conducted with high school students enrolled in a biology course. Rather than recycle old documentaries showing childbirth, the intervention designed was to have the students deliver a fetus through the use of Laerdal’s SimMom. Afterwards, a survey was given to the students. Overwhelming, the students felt that the simulated birth was useful for their education. Additionally, the students expressed a desire to have more simulation integrated into their high school education.

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 [Click image to download PDF of abstract]

This abstract is a telling sign of the future expansion of simulation based research beyond the clinical arena. The future will show projects whereby real patients (not standardized patients) are integrated with simulation for educational purposes. This could be particularly useful for families of those with chronic illness such as pediatric oncology. Simulations could also be used to educate nonclinical staff in clinical settings, such as clerks and registrars during cardiac arrest simulations.

Please share any projects you are aware of that has undertaken the challenge of incorporating non-clinical providers.

Nikita Joshi, MD

Nikita Joshi, MD

ALiEM Chief People Officer and Associate Editor
Clinical Instructor
Department of Emergency Medicine
Stanford University
Nikita Joshi, MD


Emergency Medicine Doctor Associate Editor of ALiEM Gun Sense Advocate #FOAMed #Docs4GunSense #MomsDemandAction Tweets represent my own views and opinions