Simulation in Pre-departure Training for Residents Planning Clinical Work in a Low-Income Country
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Simulation in Pre-departure Training for Residents Planning Clinical Work in a Low-Income Country

  • Author(s): Schwartz, Kevin R.
  • Prentiss, Kimball A.
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction: Increasingly, pediatric and emergency medicine (EM) residents are pursuing clinical rotations in low-income countries. Optimal pre-departure preparation for such rotations has not yet been established. High-fidelity simulation represents a potentially effective modality for such preparation. This study was designed to assess whether a pre-departure high-fidelity medical simulation curriculum is effective in helping to prepare residents for clinical rotations in a low-income country. 

Methods: 43 pediatric and EM residents planning clinical rotations in Liberia, West Africa, participated in a simulation-based curriculum focused on severe pediatric malaria and malnutrition and were then assessed by survey at three time points: pre-simulation, post-simulation, and after returning from work abroad.

Results: Prior to simulation, 1/43 (2%) participants reported they were comfortable with the diagnosis and management of severe malnutrition; this increased to 30/42 (71%) after simulation and 24/31 (77%) after working abroad. Prior to simulation, 1/43 (2%) of residents reported comfort with the diagnosis and management of severe malaria; this increased to 26/42 (62%) after simulation and 28/31 (90%) after working abroad; 36/42 (86%) of residents agreed that a simulation-based global health curriculum is more useful than a didactic curriculum alone, and 41/42 (98%) felt a simulator-based curriculum should be offered to all residents planning a clinical trip to a low-income country.

Conclusion: High-fidelity simulation is effective in increasing residents’ self-rated comfort in management of pediatric malaria and malnutrition and a majority of participating residents feel it should be included as a component of pre-departure training for all residents rotating clinically to low-income countries.

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