Exploring the feasibility and acceptability of using tactical decision games to develop final year medical students’ non-technical skills

Iain Drummond*, Gauhar Sheikh, Janet Skinner, Morwenna Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Introduction: Clinical decision-making, situation awareness, task management, and teamwork are key non-technical skills (NTS) required by junior doctors. Tactical decision games (TDGs) are low-fidelity classroom-based activities designed to develop proficiency in NTS. This study aimed to explore the feasibility and acceptability of using TDGs as a novel teaching method for final year medical students. Methods: Final year medical students at the University of Edinburgh participated in a single TDG session. Focus groups were then used to explore students’ perceptions of participating in the TDG session and transcribed data from the focus groups was thematically analyzed. Results: Six key themes emerged from the data: “the value of non-medical games”; “giving and receiving feedback”; “observing and reflecting”; “recognizing and understanding NTS”; “dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity”, and “introducing TDGs into the curriculum”. Conclusions: TDGs are an easy-to-use, low-fidelity method of teaching medical students about the importance of NTS. Medical students view TDGs as a valuable learning activity that appears to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of NTS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Teacher
Early online date23 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Mar 2016

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