The use of simulation as a novel experiential learning module in undergraduate science pathophysiology education

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Advances in Physiology Education, 2016, 40 (3), pp. 335 - 341
Issue Date:
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© 2016 The American Physiological Society. Teaching of pathophysiology concepts is a core feature in health professional programs, but it can be challenging in undergraduate medical/biomedical science education, which is often highly theoretical when delivered by lectures and pen-and-paper tutorials. Authentic case studies allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge but still require good imagination on the part of the students. Lecture content can be reinforced through practical learning experiences in clinical environments. In this study, we report a new approach using clinical simulation within a Human Pathophysiology course to enable undergraduate science students to see "pathophysiology in action" in a clinical setting. Students role played health professionals, and, in these roles, they were able to interact with each other and the manikin "patient," take a medical history, perform a physical examination and consider relevant treatments. Evaluation of students' experiences suggests that using clinical simulation to deliver case studies is more effective than traditional paper-based case studies by encouraging active learning and improving the understanding of physiological concepts.
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