Background & Objectives: Simulation is one of the methods used to depict the symptoms and signs in clinical problem-solving exercises to medical students. The present study examined the efficacy of high-fidelity simulation in problem-solving exercises in preclinical medical education based on feedback from the lecturers and students.
Material and Methods: After approval from the research and ethics committee, 29 volunteers from year two in the school of Medicine, in AIMST University, Malaysia were recruited for the study. Two common problems in clinical medicine, chest pain, and breathlessness were selected. A pre-test was conducted for all the students on both topics. The teaching and learning of chest pain was conducted as a paper-based problem-solving exercise (PSE) while that of breathlessness was conducted as a problem-solving exercise using high-fidelity simulation. A post-test was conducted after both sessions. The lecturers and the students gave feedback on the efficacy of either method.
Results: Ninety-three percent (25) of the students indicated a preference for simulation assisted PSE as compared to paper-based PSE. All the teachers felt that simulation assisted PSE is better in demonstrating signs and symptoms in a PSE for undergraduate medical students. The post-test scores of simulation assisted PSE were significantly higher than the paper-based PSE (p < 0.0003).
Conclusion: High-fidelity simulation assisted PSE was found to be more realistic and efficient than a paper-based PSE in portraying the clinical scenario in a problem-solving exercise in undergraduate medical education.
2. Michael1 JA, Rovick AA, Problem-solving in the pre-clinical curriculum: the uses of computer simulations. Med Teach. 1986;8:19-25.
3. Dequeker J, Jaspaert R. Teaching problem-solving and clinical reasoning: 20 years experience with video-supported small-group learning. Med Educ.1998;32:384-9.
4. Murray D: Clinical skills in acute care: A role for simulation training. Crit Care Med. 2006;34:252-3.
5. Cleave-Hogg D. Experiential learning in an anaesthesia simulation centre: analysis of students’ comments. Med Teach. 2002;24:23-6.