Performance of technology-driven simulators for medical students-a systematic review

Michael Michael, Hamid Abboudi, Jean Ker, Mohammed Shamim Khan, Prokar Dasgupta, Kamran Ahmed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Simulation-based education has evolved as a key training tool in high-risk industries such as aviation and the military. In parallel with these industries, the benefits of incorporating specialty-oriented simulation training within medical schools are vast. Adoption of simulators into medical school education programs has shown great promise and has the potential to revolutionize modern undergraduate education.

    Materials and methods
    An English literature search was carried out using MEDLINE, EMBASE, and psychINFO databases to identify all randomized controlled studies pertaining to “technology-driven” simulators used in undergraduate medical education. A validity framework incorporating the “framework for technology enhanced learning” report by the Department of Health, United Kingdom, was used to evaluate the capabilities of each technology-driven simulator. Information was collected regarding the simulator type, characteristics, and brand name. Where possible, we extracted information from the studies on the simulators' performance with respect to validity status, reliability, feasibility, education impact, acceptability, and cost effectiveness.

    We identified 19 studies, analyzing simulators for medical students across a variety of procedure-based specialities including; cardiovascular (n = 2), endoscopy (n = 3), laparoscopic surgery (n = 8), vascular access (n = 2), ophthalmology (n = 1), obstetrics and gynecology (n = 1), anesthesia (n = 1), and pediatrics (n = 1). Incorporation of simulators has so far been on an institutional level; no national or international trends have yet emerged.

    Simulators are capable of providing a highly educational and realistic experience for the medical students within a variety of speciality-oriented teaching sessions. Further research is needed to establish how best to incorporate simulators into a more primary stage of medical education; preclinical and clinical undergraduate medicine.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThe Journal of surgical research
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2014


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