PURPOSE: To assess medical student’s long-term knowledge retention after simulation-based teaching compared to traditional lecture.
METHODS: We hypothesized that students who receive simulator-based non-procedural teaching (SBT) would outscore students who receive a standard lecture (SL) on shock, fluid resuscitation and nutrition. We conducted a randomized controlled trial of SBT versus SL via PowerPoint presentation among clinical 3rd year medical students. Students were tested a year later to assess their long term knowledge retention.
RESULTS: There were 154 3rd year medical students randomly assigned to receive either SL or SBT. 48.6% (n=37) of the SBT group and 43.5% (n=34) from the SL group have taken a follow up questionnaire a year later. The pre-test scores of the SL group averaged 47.2% correct while post test averaged at 92.3% and their follow up was 59.4%. The average pre-test amongst the SBT group was 44.6% while the post-test was 88.9% and their follow up was 61.9%. There was a highly statistically significant difference from pre-test to post-test scores for both groups (P=0.002).There was no significant difference in the follow up scores between the standard and the simulator group, p = 0.41 using the t test for two independent samples.
CONCLUSION: Knowledge retention tends to decay with time. Using a model of a single simulation session as part of medical student training did not show a significant improvement in critical care knowledge retention compared to traditional lecture.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: A single simulation exposure may be inadequate to detect differences in teaching modalities. This study highlights the need of multi-simulator sessions with or without a refresher course to minimize the knowledge decline.
DISCLOSURE: Adel Bassily-Marcus, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information