Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2012 Indianapolis Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Does participation in SIM improve clinical knowledge and technical skills retention?

Jeanine C Ronan, M.D. - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania; Rebecca Tenney-Soeiro, M.D. - Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Purpose:  To evaluate whether students who participated in simulation exercises (SIM) as clerkship students retained medical knowledge and technical skills more than those who participated in case-based learning (CBL). 

Objectives:  To determine whether, 1 year later, there is a difference in retention of medical knowledge or technical skills between students who participated in SIM versus CBL experiences.  To evaluate whether there is a difference with self-confidence in regards to the recognition of ill children and in the use of medical equipment.

Background:  In 2010, approximately 160 clerkship students received instruction in 3 common pediatric emergencies through SIM or CBL.  Pre- and post-questionnaires assessed students’ clinical knowledge and their confidence in the initial assessment and management of ill children.   In 2011, 40 students enrolled in a subinternship in Pediatrics.

Methods:  Prior to their subinternship, students completed a questionnaire describing their confidence and comfort with caring for acutely ill children, as well as assessing their clinical knowledge.  A technical skills checklist was performed with each student to determine their familiarity with and proper use of medical equipment.  Students were asked to identify whether they participated in SIM or CBL as clerkship students.  All data was de-identified. 

Analysis: Item-level descriptive statistics comparing the students with prior simulation experience to those who participated in CBL was completed.  Students’ performances in self-confidence, clinical knowledge, and technical skills were compared.  

Preliminary results:  25 students agreed to participate- 16 had previously been in simulation and 9 in CBL.  As in last year’s study students in CBL were more likely to be confident in their ability to recognize an ill child and to properly use medical equipment except for respiratory equipment, in which SIM participants felt more comfortable.  Of the 10 knowledge questions, SIM students performed better 80% of the time.  Of the 6 technical skills, 4 were demonstrated by SIM students more frequently. 

Conclusions:  The trend for CBL students to be more confident in their skills carries over 1 year later; however, retention of knowledge and technical skills seems to favor the SIM trained students.  A larger study group is needed to truly prove benefit.