I played SuperBetter and was inspired...

There looms a huge dark cloud of impending crisis in medical education today.  I think the following spells out one of the main reasons why doctors get easily stressed out, leading to poor communication with patients.  Too much information not well taught!!  There is too much information without the organization it deserves.  So when there is too much written information about something good it becomes boring EVEN when the subject matter is immensely interesting and important to people's lives. The human body and how to fix it when it's broken are inherently fascinating topics!  Where did the fun fall off and die??

Mainly there is no game on the market that help medical students improve on their clinical skills, such as differential diagnostic reasoning, interpreting labs, and the ORDER of the steps in standard management.  There is Kaplan and other companies that help students prepare for exams but not both exams and the real world. I am becoming more and more fascinated about how doctors think and how they can improve and become more efficient as to avoid mistakes.  We work so much and there should be room for fun while learning.

A simulation game (FUN!) is the perfect platform for improving the necessary cognitive skills that are useful for the budding physician.  Period.

It literally saves time from going out to have fun since you feel good after studying hard since you also ALREADY had fun while studying!!

Here is a quick example of what I mean.  The following is a chart for recording the complete blood count (CBC) and the basic metabolic panel (BMP).  One or more new sets are recorded for every patient that is admitted to our medical team.   We trend the numbers so we know when an abnormality creeps up.   Baseline numbers are important.

One possible feature of the game can display the following numbers as a slot machine, where the numbers roll and fluctuate with the press of the button as shown below.

Diagrams (left: normal; right: possible diabetic ketoacidosis)

 

 

 

 

Other components of the game include beefing up differential diagnoses and STAT steps to medical management (what tests to order and medications - dose and frequency).  Alternative or supportive methods should be included. Incorporating X-ray, CT, MRI imaging will be a challenge.

If this post inspires you to join in on the stated mission, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@downstate.edu.  Smiles and thanks!

 

Anna Zheng

Brooklyn, New York

Fourth-year medical student

Views: 108

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Comment by SteveX on November 25, 2012 at 7:29am

Hi, I just put a new blog up that you might want to look at.  Obviously you're pretty busy right now, but if you're looking for a way to go forward it might help.

Comment by Allisonsdf on November 12, 2012 at 4:03am

Fall is here, and that means that the discount north face SNUGG (Spandex, North Face, and Uggs) season is upon us once again here in Happy Valley.

Comment by Karin Tamerius on November 1, 2012 at 3:07pm
Hi Anna,

I couldn't agree more. When I was a medical student (I'm now a 4th year psychiatry resident), I spent a lot of time fantasizing about how much easier it would be to learn the material in game format. One of the ideas I had was an infectious disease card and dice game where players would kill germs with anti-microbial agents while trying not to create mutant superbugs in the process. Unfortunately, medical school (and residency, for that matter) don't leave much time for game development so I never got beyond the fantasy stage.

Since then I have seen a few games that seem to be moving in the right direction. The game Prognosis for the iPad provides a chance to review cases in a game-like way and the medical information is accurate. It's a bit clunky for my tastes, though, and lacks a compelling storyline or hierarchy of accomplisments to keep you engaged. I sometimes use the program to brush up on my non-psychiatric diagnostic skills, but I find I have to push myself to play because it's not as much fun as it could be.

Good luck with your project.

Best,

Karin

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