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Improved Fourth-Year Medical Student Clinical Decision-Making Performance as a Resuscitation Team Leader After a Simulation-Based Curriculum

Ten Eyck, Raymond P. MD, MPH; Tews, Matthew DO; Ballester, John M. MD; Hamilton, Glenn C. MD, MSM

Simulation in Healthcare: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare: June 2010 - Volume 5 - Issue 3 - pp 139-145
doi: 10.1097/SIH.0b013e3181cca544
Empirical Investigations

Objective: To determine the impact of simulation-based instruction on student performance in the role of emergency department resuscitation team leader.

Methods: A randomized, single-blinded, controlled study using an intention to treat analysis. Eighty-three fourth-year medical students enrolled in an emergency medicine clerkship were randomly allocated to two groups differing only by instructional format. Each student individually completed an initial simulation case, followed by a standardized curriculum of eight cases in either group simulation or case-based group discussion format before a second individual simulation case. A remote coinvestigator measured eight objective performance end points using digital recordings of all individual simulation cases. McNemar χ2, Pearson correlation, repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance, and follow-up analysis of variance were used for statistical evaluation.

Results: Sixty-eight students (82%) completed both initial and follow-up individual simulations. Eight students were lost from the simulation group and seven from the discussion group. The mean postintervention case performance was significantly better for the students allocated to simulation instruction compared with the group discussion students for four outcomes including a decrease in mean time to (1) order an intravenous line; (2) initiate cardiac monitoring; (3) order initial laboratory tests; and (4) initiate blood pressure monitoring. Paired comparisons of each student’s initial and follow-up simulations demonstrated significant improvement in the same four areas, in mean time to order an abdominal radiograph and in obtaining an allergy history.

Conclusions: A single simulation-based teaching session significantly improved student performance as a team leader. Additional simulation sessions provided further improvement compared with instruction provided in case-based group discussion format.

From the Department of Emergency Medicine (R.P.T.E., J.M.B., G.C.H.), Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, OH; and Department of Emergency Medicine (M.T.), Medical College of Wisconsin, WI.

Abstract presentation at poster session of the 2009 IMSH meeting, Orlando, FL.

Reprints: Raymond P. Ten Eyck, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine, 3525 Southern Blvd., Kettering, OH 45429 (e-mail:

© 2010 Society for Simulation in Healthcare