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Acad Med. 2008 May;83(5):521-3. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31816bdd6c.

Perspective: fostering biomedical literacy among America's youth: how medical simulation reshapes the strategy.

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Harvard Medical School, and faculty, Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


Medicine is a uniquely powerful platform for teaching science and ethics, technology and humanity, life and death. Yet, society has historically limited medical education to a select few, and only after an advanced course of premedical studies. In an era when biomedical literacy is increasingly viewed as a national imperative, the authors hypothesized that advanced instruction in medicine could be intellectually transformative among a broad range of young people. Using high-fidelity patient simulators, a group of college and high school students was immersed in a weeklong course designed to replicate the practice of modern medicine. On the basis of the students' reported experiences, the authors feel that patient simulation can foster forceful interest in the life sciences at an early age. Such efforts could catalyze a significant expansion of interest in biomedical science among students nationwide.

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