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A podcast dedicated to the discussion of healthcare simulation. Debunking dogma, demystifying jargon and translating knowledge. Hosted by Dr Victoria Brazil and Jesse Spurr

May 19, 2017

Ep. 8 - Live. Die. Repeat. Gamification of simulation training

This month we turned our focus to simulation delivery formats, and in particular a novel approach described recently. 

Sunga K, Sandefur B, Asirvatham U, et al. LIVE. DIE. REPEAT: a novel instructional method incorporating recursive objective-based gameplay in an emergency medicine simulation curriculum BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning 2016;2:124-126. 

We were fortunate to be joined by 2 authors of the paper 

Kharmene Sunga (@Kharmene) is an emergency physician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where she is also lead for simulation in the ER residency. Daniel Cabrera (@CabreraERDR) is also an emergency physician at Mayo, a social media enthusiast and @smaccteam speaker. 

Their paper, and original blog post,  challenges our traditional approach to simulation delivery – often ether a scenario followed by long(ish) debrief, or  ‘pause and discuss’ where the scenario is paused at intervals for discussion and then continues on. 

Using gamification principles, and a fair bit of movie watching – Kharmene and Daniel have devised a sim format that involves ‘recursive objective based gameplay’ – where participants attempt to reach higher stages in the ‘game’ but have to repeat the level if they die. Seen from an educational theory perspective – this is deliberate practice in action. It’s a fast paced and engaging format, and provides a chance to practice again after a short and directive debrief. 

Inspired by the idea of forgoing some of the long debrief after a scenario in favour of a chance for participants to practice, I’ve adapted the principle to our final year student sims, which have been similarly well received.  

Comments and other ideas for adaption welcome. 



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