WOW!! It is amazing how the methods of medical education continue to transform. Who would have thought that “gamification” could be a medical education teaching tool? More medical educators are venturing into the realm of social media. Social media is where the learners are.  Educators want future physicians and healthcare professionals to have reliable and credible information. A physician-in-training can learn about ultrasounds from Snapchat. A nurse can learn how to insert nasogastric tubes from YouTube. Medical information shared through blogs and podcasts is limitless.

Gamification

Learners are searching for entertaining opportunities to engage with educational content. Is medical education information valuable in game format? Utilizing game mechanics in a non-gaming environment is referred to as gamification, which studies reveal intensifies learner engagement, knowledge absorption, and retention. It also captivates learners and enhances the experience for all ages.

Many millennials were born with games in their hands and is a generation that learned to read on a console and studied with the Internet. This age group is very at ease and relaxed with all gaming mechanics. If a task is boring and repetitive, how can an educator engage the student? Simple. Add some game angles and include accurate information. Present the activity as a challenge. Learners will engage more.

How can incorporating the game concepts in medical schools be beneficial? The practice of medicine and the concept of gamification have common denominators. Both involve mastering certain skills before advancing to a new and more difficult level. Technical platforms offer students visual and mental interaction with the science of medicine. Gamification can promote skills and strengthen knowledge in the development of medical thinking. Medical games can encourage problem-based learning either on an individual or group basis. Educational games are interactive and entertaining. Gamification, however, does not replace lectures; it is a supplemental tool to support and reinforce established curricula.

Oculus Rift is a virtual reality display, and this particular technology transfers students into a virtual body. Students track a clot from a leg vein to the lung to comprehend the idea of pulmonary embolism. To understand kinesiology, leaners can arrange muscles on a virtual skeleton, and to understand embryology, students can control germ layers of a gastrula.

The advantages of incorporating gamified training platforms, such as educational games, medical mobile applications, and virtual patient simulations, are twofold. First, these tools are beneficial in developing a student’s medical rationale and predictions. Second, by observing effects, students grasp complex body systems and disease progression.

Educational games can escalate a student’s a sense of competence and provide educators with supportive teaching tools. Gamification is an innovative resource to strengthen critical concepts in learners and educators.

Carroll MD C. Gamification of medical education: Choose Your Own Medventure. http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2017/09/gamification-medical-education-choose-medventure.html. Published September 5, 2017. Accessed September 12, 2017.

Babin Nicolas. Gamification and medical applications. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/gamification-medical-applications-nicolas-babin-l-i-o-n-. Published April 11, 2017. Accessed September 12, 2017.

Cline Abigail. GaMed: Gamification of Medical Education. http://in-training.org/gamed-gamification-medical-education-11029. Published May 10, 2016. Accessed September 12, 2017.

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