Use games to teach residents

Residency Program Insider, April 12, 2019

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Editor's note: The following is an excerpt from Residency Program Alert. For more information, click here.

Whether conference attendance is low, residents seem bored, or you’re ready to try something new, consider adding games to your educational lineup. This guide will help you develop, implement, and assess games in your conferences.

Not all topics are best taught via a game, so before you create any games, review the curriculum and determine the best learn-ing strategy for each topic (e.g., simulation, team-based learning, lecture, games), says Alisa Wray, MD, assistant program director at UC Irvine.

Review the curriculum block by block to make the task more manageable. It is helpful to engage the expertise of an educational expert, such as a fellow or faculty member with a master’s in education or educational expertise. This person can en-sure that the education strategies used are diverse, effective, and engaging, says Osborn, who has a few educational experts in the program to fill this role.

What makes a topic a winner for gamification? Games are a great way to solidify knowledge. Pick relatively straightforward subjects with many subcomponent parts that residents must be able to recall. For example, during the abdominal block, UC Irvine held a rapid-fire question/answer relay competition using ultrasound and CT images.

“There are a lot of images the residents are going to need to be able to recognize immediately—just looking at an ultrasound and knowing that it’s acute cholecystitis because the gallbladder is distended, there is fluid, and the wall is thickened,” Wray says. “They would look at an image and have to [tell us] the diagnosis, and then they would have to know the treatment immediately.”

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