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