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Expert Rev Med Devices. 2014 Mar;11(2):101-3. doi: 10.1586/17434440.2014.863706. Epub 2013 Nov 21.

Second Life™: a novel simulation platform for the training of surgical residents.

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Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, PA 19104, USA.


A virtual world is a three-dimensional, computer-generated, simulated environment. Human users create "avatars," or virtual projections of themselves, in order to explore this virtual environment and interact with the objects and structures inside it. Second Life™ is one such virtual world accessible freely via the internet, which has been used to construct a virtual hospital complete with reception areas, changing rooms, offices, and hospital wards. Early pioneering studies have demonstrated the advantages of using virtual worlds in the education of surgical residents in a number of ways, from introductions to the clinical environment, initial patient assessment, and managing adverse outcomes, to gaining informed consent, hospital-wide training, and medical device development.

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