A randomised controlled trial of extended immersion in multi-method continuing simulation to prepare senior medical students for practice as junior doctors
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Background: Many commencing junior doctors worldwide feel ill-prepared to deal with their new responsibilities, particularly prescribing. Simulation has been widely utilised in medical education, but the use of extended multi-method simulation to emulate the junior doctor experience has rarely been reported. Methods: A randomised controlled trial compared students who underwent two, week-long, extended simulations, several months apart (Intervention), with students who attended related workshops and seminars alone (Control), for a range of outcome measures. Results: Eighty-four third year students in a graduate-entry medical program were randomised, and 82 completed the study. At the end of the first week, Intervention students scored a mean of 75% on a prescribing test, compared with 70% for Control students (P = 0.02) and Intervention teams initiated cardiac compressions a mean of 29.1 seconds into a resuscitation test scenario, compared with 70.1 seconds for Control teams (P < 0.01). At the beginning of the second week, an average of nine months later, a significant difference was maintained in relation to the prescribing test only (78% vs 70%, P < 0.01). At the end of the second week, significant Intervention vs Control differences were seen on knowledge and reasoning tests, a further prescribing test (71% vs 63% [P < 0.01]) and a paediatric resuscitation scenario test (252 seconds to initiation of fluid resuscitation vs 339 seconds [P = 0.05]). Conclusions: The study demonstrated long-term retention of improved prescribing skills, and an immediate effect on knowledge acquisition, reasoning and resuscitation skills, from contextualising learning activities through extended multi-method simulation.
BMC Medical Education
© 2014 Rogers et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy