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.