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Med Educ Online. 2016 Jan;21(1):30744. doi: 10.3402/meo.v21.30744.

A brief simulation intervention increasing basic science and clinical knowledge.

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a Department of Biomedical Sciences Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine , Kalamazoo , MI , USA.
b Center for Teaching and Learning Ross University School of Medicine, Commonwealth of Dominica , West Indies.
c DeVry Medical International's Institute for Research and Clinical Strategy Iselin , NJ , USA.
d The Commonwealth Medical College Scranton , PA , USA.


Background The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is increasing clinical content on the Step 1 exam; thus, inclusion of clinical applications within the basic science curriculum is crucial. Including simulation activities during basic science years bridges the knowledge gap between basic science content and clinical application. Purpose To evaluate the effects of a one-off, 1-hour cardiovascular simulation intervention on a summative assessment after adjusting for relevant demographic and academic predictors. Methods This study was a non-randomized study using historical controls to evaluate curricular change. The control group received lecture (n l=515) and the intervention group received lecture plus a simulation exercise (n l+s=1,066). Assessment included summative exam questions (n=4) that were scored as pass/fail (≥75%). USMLE-style assessment questions were identical for both cohorts. Descriptive statistics for variables are presented and odds of passage calculated using logistic regression. Results Undergraduate grade point ratio, MCAT-BS, MCAT-PS, age, attendance at an academic review program, and gender were significant predictors of summative exam passage. Students receiving the intervention were significantly more likely to pass the summative exam than students receiving lecture only (P=0.0003). Discussion Simulation plus lecture increases short-term understanding as tested by a written exam. A longitudinal study is needed to assess the effect of a brief simulation intervention on long-term retention of clinical concepts in a basic science curriculum.


Manikins; cardiovascular course; high-fidelity simulation; teaching; undergraduate medical education

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