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L&D in the ED: A Game-Based Approach to Learning High-Risk Obstetric Emergencies



Teaching emergency medicine residents the principles of obstetric emergencies is a challenging task, as these emergencies are uncommon in general practice and include specific maneuvers for difficult and precipitous deliveries. These requirements are not easy to satisfy in a standard lecture and are labor intensive for small groups. This resource is a board game that leverages near-peer teaching, engages student collaboration, and supports friendly competition.


The game was designed to be used by emergency medicine residents and emphasized the evaluation and management of acute issues related to labor and delivery (L&D). To play the game, three to four learners took turns answering questions. Each correct answer was awarded points for forward movement on the game board. The first person to reach the end of the game won. A faculty moderator circulated among the players to clarify questions or answers as needed.


Our residents loved this resource. They were able to teach each other throughout the game while using reference materials. Participants rated the educational value of the L&D board game as 4.81 (out of 5), as compared to 4.37 for prior lectures covering the same topics. The game was rated similarly to delivery procedural skills workshops implemented in prior years (4.62-4.82).


Game-based exercises are low-tech, highly interactive teaching tools enabling students to learn from each other in a fun and engaging way. Although we did not assess knowledge retention, this activity's educational value was rated similarly to delivery procedural skills sessions.

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