Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP 2004 Florida Meeting

Poster Presentation:

Reaction to responsive virtual human (RVH) technology for pediatric training


 Robin Deterding1, MD, Robert Hubal2, PhD, & Curry Guinn2, PhD.

1University of Colorado and 2RTI international

 Objective: Our goals are to develop interactive training sessions using virtual pediatric characters and to explore user attitudes and educational issues.

Methods: RTI International has been working with content experts in pediatrics, linguistics, and cognitive science to develop responsive pediatric characters. RVHs react to a learner's verbal strategies with defined cognitive, psychomotor, and verbal responses. Prototypes of interactive pediatric scenarios were created and pediatric educators (PE; N=14) and third year medical students (N=15) were asked to pilot them. A survey captured demographic data and user's opinion about validity, performance characteristics, and current beliefs about the utility of RVHT technology for training.
Results: PE felt scenarios (obtaining an ear exam in a 4 year old; examining the lungs of a 10 year old; and obtaining a high-risk behavior history from a teenager) were very to extremely important pediatric competencies and that on average only half of their students were competent in these areas at graduation. Participants rated response time and overall conversation of characters as only somewhat realistic. Participants also reported scenarios were only somewhat comparable or adaptable to real world situations. However, on average, participants felt that if limited clinical experiences were available RVHT would be moderately helpful and would allow for more experiential learning. Finally, participants moderately enjoyed using the RVHT and with improved technology felt they were moderately to very likely to learn with virtual reality during their career.
Conclusion: Participant responses to basic RVHT prototypes were encouraging. Ongoing improvements are occurring. We want your input!