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A new age approach to an age old problem: using simulation to teach geriatric medicine to medical students.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr James Fisher, Professor Richard Walker


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BACKGROUND: simulation-based teaching is increasingly used in medical education, but no studies have evaluated its impact on learning in geriatric medicine. We developed and delivered a simulation teaching session on delirium, falls, elder abuse and breaking bad news. Simulation mannequins, professional role-players and simulated clinical documentation were all incorporated into scenarios. We evaluated the effect of this intervention on student learning and on students' attitudes towards geriatric medicine.METHODS:third year Newcastle University MBBS students at Northumbria base unit received the simulation-based teaching session. Students' knowledge was assessed using a three question test mapped to learning outcomes for the elder abuse, delirium and falls stations. Each student undertook the test on three occasions: the day before the teaching session, immediately after the session and ∼1 month later, allowing evaluation of learning over time. Test scores were also compared with those achieved by another cohort of third year MBBS students at a different base unit, who received traditional ward-based and didactic teaching but no simulation teaching.RESULTS:student knowledge improved significantly after the simulation session and this was maintained when reassessed a month later. Students who received the simulation-based training outperformed those who received usual teaching. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the vast majority of students agreed that the session had a positive impact on their perceptions of geriatric medicine.DISCUSSION:our findings demonstrate the efficacy of simulation-based teaching in undergraduate geriatric medicine, its acceptability to students and its positive influence on students' perceptions of the specialty.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fisher JM, Walker RW

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Age and Ageing

Year: 2014

Volume: 43

Issue: 3

Pages: 424-428

Print publication date: 01/05/2014

Online publication date: 18/12/2013

Acceptance date: 30/10/2013

ISSN (print): 0002-0729

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2834

Publisher: Oxford Academic


DOI: 10.1093/ageing/aft200


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