Training With Simulator Gets Higher Marks For Medical Students In Obstetric Studies

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In the recent times, it has been found that there has been a sharp decline in mothers who undergo normal deliveries. C-sections are on a rise. A number of factors have been attributed to this unfortunate increase. Reasons range from complications in pregnancy to personal choice of mothers who prefer to go under the knife rather than bear through normal delivery. Increase in obesity in mothers, diabetes during pregnancy and high blood pressure is other reasons why normal deliveries are on a decline.An interesting study was held that was aimed at determining the efficiency of medical students training for gynecology and obstetrics. Latest observations have revealed that medical students who could practice with a simulator could score higher marks in their examinations. This was in comparison with students who only got classroom education in this regard. This goes on to show that students learn better about vaginal deliveries when they are given a higher level of practical exposure through simulators. These observations were carried out in the University of South Florida and results are due to appear in Obstetrics and Gynecology journal, September 2011 issue.

Vaginal deliveries can be performed more confidently by students who have exposure through simulators. Their efficiency levels also increases. However, it was also found that besides practicing on simulators, the students who got to attend real deliveries were better at performing them. Nevertheless, the difference in efficiency deceased as the students who did not practice with simulators got to learn through participation in actual deliveries. Although the gap did decrease, it was found that initially, students who practiced with the tool had a better start.

The main author of the study and assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics, Dr. Shelly Holmstorm, said that students were engaged at an earlier level when mad to practice before being a part of actual deliveries. Students were found to score higher grades in bother their oral and written exams. For the study, 119 students were considered. These students were enrolled for clerkship programs in obstetrics and gynecology. Simulators were randomly assigned to a few students while the others were put through classroom training. Students were allowed to attend at least one session with the simulator, which is a device which creates life size computer generated images that provides a true life delivery experience. Students who were trained in this manner scored better since they had larger amount of practical exposure.