Final year medical students' views on simulation-based teaching: a comparison with the Best Evidence Medical Education Systematic Review

Zoë Paskins, Ed Peile
Medical Teacher 2010, 32 (7): 569-77

BACKGROUND: Simulation is being increasingly used in medical education.

AIM: The aim of this study was to explore in more depth the features of simulation-based teaching that undergraduate medical students value using the Best Evidence Medical Education (BEME) Systematic Review features that lead to effective learning as a framework.

METHOD: Thematic analysis of four semi-structured focus groups with final year medical students who had been taught acute care skills using a medium-fidelity whole-body simulator manikin (SimMan).

RESULTS: Twelve key themes were identified, namely, feedback, integration into curriculum, learning style, learning environment, realism, teamwork, communication skills, confidence/increased self-efficacy, anxiety, performance, perceptions of foundation year 1 (FY1) and SimMan as a resource. Each theme is described with supporting quotes.

CONCLUSION: Six of the ten features listed in the BEME review appeared to be of particular value to the medical students. This study provides a richer understanding of these features. In addition, new insights into the effect of simulation on confidence, anxiety and self-efficacy are discussed which may be affected by the 'performance' nature of simulation role-play. Students also contribute critical thought about the use of SimMan as a resource and provide novel ideas for reducing 'downtime'.

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