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Education Medicine Games

Medical Students Open To Learning With Video Games 46

Gwmaw writes "A reported 98 percent of medical students surveyed at the University of Michigan and University of Wisconsin-Madison liked the idea of using technology to enhance their medical education, according to a study published online in BMC Medical Education. For example, a virtual environment could help medical students learn how to interview a patient or run a patient clinic. In the survey, 80 percent of students said computer games can have an educational value."
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Medical Students Open To Learning With Video Games

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  • Anyone remember the game "Life or Death"? I was young, and the only patients who survived me were those I could refer to a specialist, and those with gas.

    Oh you lucky kidney stone patients, and those of you who I thought had Kidney stones and the specialist saved you. The rest, I'm sorry, there was nothing I could do (right, apparently).

    • This is a pretty vacuous vox pop study that doesn't really tell me anything I didn't know.

      The problem with this approach goes back to BF Skinner [] and his teaching machines in the 1950s. Essentially it is that all the interaction has to be scripted, and if you think about even the large free roaming games like GTA, all the key interactions are pre-determined.
      The problem with humans is that they do not act in linear predictable ways, and that is what makes them so interesting, and challenging. A VR enviro
      • The funny thing is that the folks in TFS seem to be focusing on using games to do stuff that is very hard to do with computers, and very cheap(comparatively) to do with people, rather than focusing on the stuff that is relatively easy to do with computers and extremely costly to do with people.

        Learn interviewing skills? Here kid, put this badge on, go two floors down, and watch real doctors interviewing the steady stream of people who won't stop coming through the doors. If you are just too nervous, go t
  • Ayup, I've worked at a lab doing that for the past few years...

    The Interactive Media Laboratory (IML) is part of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. IML specializes in combining emerging technology with innovative instructional design. For over 18 years, it has produced high-end interactive multimedia educational programs for both patients and health care providers. Additionally, it has developed distance learning systems capable of delivering rich multimedia over the Internet. []

    What I find really interesting is that it's often not the complexity of games and interactions in games that drives adoption and success, but careful selection of course material, subject-matter experts, and good underlying layout and design. Although leisure games are often sold solely on the level of explosive interaction and realistic blood-and-guts, at the end of the day, so-called "Serious Games" (yeah, I think it'

  • I am surprised that it wasn't 100% that people would say a computer game can have educational value.
    • I am surprised that it wasn't 100% that people would say a computer game can have educational value.

      The difference is probably in how you interpret the word, rather than your opinion of the product -- for example, nobody would doubt that airline's high-tech cockpit simulators are useful for training their pilots, but not everybody would consider them a "game". Same goes for patient simulators.

  • Biased Survey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @02:09AM (#33225362)
    Of course, the medical students would say that, I bet that business students would say the same thing about computer games for their field as well. Who doesn't like games? In any case, we know this method is attractive, now the real question is, can we make games that are good enough for those students to learn anything? And to some extent, I think that we will be able to, but only partly I believe. Making a good game is still mostly more an art than a science, and making a good game that will actually teach something will be doubly difficult.
    • That's exactly what I thought

      A reported 98 percent of medical students [...] liked the idea of using technology [...]

      Yeah... so?

    • up down up down left right left right A B C.

      That's the cheat code to reset a dislocated shoulder, right?

    • Can you say "Operation"? Damn I could never get the kidney out!
    • Education itself is more an art than a science - and nothing in the entertainment industry is scientific - so I don't know where people would get the idea that ANY method could be better at teaching than others. (I mean if classrooms were SO effective than we wouldn't see dropouts).

      Every individual learns in different ways, and sadly, those who don't enjoy learning in a classroom environment are the ones who fall behind. Video games make excellent educators for those who enjoy playing them, mostly because t

  • I suggest a new study to find out if scrabble helps word-spelling memory. I just *can't* be sure.
  • by williamhb ( 758070 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @02:16AM (#33225392) Journal

    This seems like an unsurprising result given that a lot of medical students already use simulations in their training (everything from haptic simulators for laproscopic surgery, to mannekins that can be hooked up to medical equipment and have an operation performed on them, to role-play scenariors with actors playing the patients). Indeed there are plenty of companies selling video-based simulation equipment, and whole medical conferences on medical simulation for training.

    In other news, 98% of golfers thought it might be helpful to practice their putting.

    • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

      You bring up a very good point. What exactly is the difference between a simulation and a game?

      On one end you have games that don't simulate reality in any way.

      Most games partially simulate reality with deliberate modificatons to make things entertaining.

      Then on the the other hand you have simulations that try to simulate the real thing as closely as possible within the constraints of the environment or programmers. Are those games?

      That is tricky. Flight simulators often fall into that category, yet are con

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Consider this is robotic surgery [] virtual or not, as there is a digital interface controlling all the interactions between the doctor and the patient providing the surgical team a virtual representation of what is going on.

        So in terms of teaching methods for robotic surgery you create virtual output for the doctor that reacts to the doctors inputs on the controls. So will robotic surgery by the dominant form with minimum patient intrusion and reduced infection

    • To me, the term 'game' implies both an artificial scoring system and a potential emotional pay off that a straight simulation wouldn't necessarily provide. The person who sponsored/did the survey in the first place probably has an agenda as it relates to games, otherwise he/she would just have chosen a more neutral word like 'simulation' to begin with.
  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @02:54AM (#33225580)

    I am 'open to' having sex with beautiful women to enhance my medical education. For example, sex with beautiful women could help me learn female anatomy, or how to run a patient clinic.

    Of course I'll need government funding. 4 years and $1M should do it. I'll write a great thesis too to determine if any of the above is actually true.

  • They play Quake and learn about gun shot wounds?
  • > For example, a virtual environment could help medical students learn how to interview a patient or run a patient clinic.

    Neither is a substitute for interacting with real patients or working at a real clinic. It may be less work for the medical student to play PC games, but for effective diagnosis you need to know what the patient looks like, how they walk, move, etc. How much are you going to get out of interviewing a Sim? Do these people think they can interact with a Sim the same way they would with

    • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

      Do these people think they can interact with a Sim the same way they would with a real patient (other than a pre-canned script)?

      Sure, because I am positive that the programmers will introduce the "baby won't stop crying and mommy is getting mad", "mommy's hidden agenda is a prescription of amphetamines", "daddy has an STD and doesn't want mommy to find out", "teenage daughter is making eyes at you and is trying to seduce you because she's drawn to the lab coat, position of authority and social status and ca

    • by Jahws ( 1655357 )
      I'd like to submit the following real-world research that's been going on for the past six years, minimum: []
      Warning: video on-site is stored as Windows Media Player format.

      I personally worked on this research project some during my undergraduate years - in particular, the mentioned Cranial Nerve 3 case. Long story short, the project completely simulates a Standardized Patient interaction for the medical students, complete with life-size display and standard questionnaire.
  • If it's anything like:

    (egoraptor) []

    we're doomed.
  • by incripshin ( 580256 ) <markpeloquin@g m a i l . com> on Thursday August 12, 2010 @03:16AM (#33225662) Homepage

    Ugh, can we please stop appending '–Madison' to the name of the university? Nobody says 'University of Minnesota–Twin Cities'. I know nobody will listen :(.

    -Markus Peloquin, University of Wisconsin

  • Anyone remember this one? [] Learned all I know about human biology from it. :)

  • The trick is finding the correct balance between education and entertainment. Edutainment companies haven't seemed to be that effective. Edutainment seemed to be such a gimmick that few people put real effort into doing it right. Even the big hope of Leap Frog tended to fizzle out.

    The one thing I remember being super effective for me was a math game for TI-99 where you counted, added, and subtracted. You got a "reward" of a small cut scene(been so long I forget it) if you got things right. I played
  • I swear, people have zero problem remembering the route to take to get the Candle of Light, or the way to properly invoke the Dark Gem, or the way through the minefield to get to the German prisoner. Just make a popular game with the Ring of Shining replaced by the ring finger and the Pyramid of Peril replaced by the pyramidal tracts, and six months later you'd have people who know medical science backwards and forwards.
  • I got really good with the spoon. Can I haz PhD now?
  • I like that 98% said they want to use technology for medical education, but only 80% said games had an educational value. There's an entire 18% that just want to put down the books and play a video game; they don't even care if it helps.

  • I can see a computer room full of students, and one computer's speakers shouts out

    KILL !
    MULTI KILL !!!
    DOMINATION !!!!!
  • Description: A group of stevedores has recently done some heavy lifting without proper safety gear and without warming up. You need to physically examine them to weed out workmen's comp malingerers.
    Objectives: You are to properly diagnose and repair 5 simple hernias and one infarcted hernia.
    Rewards: 24000 experience points and $100,000 billed to insurance.

  • Finally all my years spent playing Operation are going to pay off! Now if I can just master grabbing dang Bread Basket...

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!