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Integrating Medical Simulation Into the Physician Assistant Physiology Curriculum

Li, Lixin MD, PhD; Lopes, John DHA, PA-C; Zhou, Joseph Yi BS; Xu, Biao MD, PhD

The Journal of Physician Assistant Education: December 2016 - Volume 27 - Issue 4 - p 156–161
doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000089
Research Article

Purpose: Medical simulation has recently been used in medical education, and evidence indicates that it is a valuable tool for teaching and evaluation. Very few studies have evaluated the integration of medical simulation in medical physiology education, particularly in PA programs. This study was designed to assess the value of integrating medical simulation into the PA physiology curriculum.

Methods: Seventy-five students from the PA program at Central Michigan University participated in this study. Mannequin-based simulation was used to simulate a patient with hemorrhagic shock and congestive heart failure to demonstrate the Frank–Starling force and cardiac function curve. Before and after the medical simulation, students completed a questionnaire as a self-assessment. A knowledge test was also delivered after the simulation.

Results: Our study demonstrated a significant improvement in student confidence in understanding congestive heart failure, hemorrhagic shock, and the Frank–Starling curve after the simulation.

Conclusions: Medical simulation may be an effective way to enhance basic science learning experiences for students and an ideal supplement to traditional, lecture-based teaching in PA education.

Lixin Li, MD, PhD, is an associate professor in the physician assistant program, School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

John Lopes, DHA, PA-C, is an associate professor in the physician assistant program at the School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan.

Joseph Yi Zhou, is a student in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Biao Xu, MD, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Cardiology, Drum Tower Hospital, Medical School of Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.

Correspondence should be addressed to: Lixin Li, MD, PhD, Physician Assistant Program, School of Rehabilitation and Medical Sciences, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions, Central Michigan University, 1241 Health Professions Building, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859. Telephone: (989) 774-3039; Email: li6l@cmich.edu

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2016 Physician Assistant Education Association
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