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Effectiveness of a simulator in training anesthesiology residents
  1. S Abrahamson1,
  2. J S Denson2,
  3. R M Wolf3
  1. 1Director, Division of Research in Medical Education, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA
  2. 2Professor of Surgery (Anesthesiology Chairman), University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA
  3. 3Department of Psychology, Teachers College-Columbia University, New York City, USA


    The educational potential of a computer-controlled patient simulator was tested by the University of Southern California School of Medicine. The results of the experiment suggest unequivocally that there is a twofold advantage to the use of such a simulator in training anesthesiology residents in the skill of endotracheal intubation: (a) residents achieve proficiency levels in a smaller number of elapsed days of training, thus effecting a saving of time in the training of personnel, and (b) residents achieve a proficiency level in a smaller number of trials in the operating room, thus posing significantly less threat to patient safety. The small number of subjects in the study and the large within-group variability were responsible for a lack of statistical significance in 4 of 6 of the analyses performed; however, all differences were substantial and in the hypothesized direction. Thus, despite the narrowly circumscribed tasks to be learned by the experimental subjects, the findings suggest that the use of simulation devices should be considered in planning for future education and training not only in medicine but in other health care professions as well.

    • simulation
    • training

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    • Supported by the US Office of Education, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Cooperative Research Project No. D-240, Contract OE 6-10-135.

    • Delivered at the Conference on Research in Medical Education, 79th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges, Houston, Texas, 1 November 1968.

    • * This is a reprint of a paper that appeared in Journal of Medical Education, 1969, , –9.

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