Background: Simulation-based medical education is more prevalent in undergraduate preclinical medical education and acts as a foundation for clinical learning in years three and four. Currently, there is a call to teach clinical application of basic science material in preclinical years one and two.
Methods: Two groups of students participated in this investigation; a historical control of 270 students from the 2010 matriculating class and students receiving the intervention (anatomy lecture plus airway management simulation) from the 2012 matriculating class (n=337). Descriptive statistics were calculated for demographic and academic performance variables. Unadjusted and adjusted odds of passage of mid-term and final assessment were calculated. The final assessment was defined as one correct, two correct, and all three questions correct.
Results: Adjusted odds of passage of mid-term exam for the control group were 3.9 (95% CI: 2.7-5.9), virtually unchanged from the unadjusted odds of passage. Control group results for final exam passage as defined as one correct increased from .7 to .9 when adjusted for variables (95% CI:.3-2.5). Odds of passage of final assessment, for the control group, for adjusted models for two or greater correct increased from 4.1 to 5.6 (95% CI:2.6-13.7) and from 34.1 to 44.0 (95% CI: 21.7-102.5) when three answers (or 100%) are needed for passage.
Conclusions: When passage criteria for the final exam were defined as one correct, addition of a simulation exercise to the anatomy lecture increased the rate of passage by 11% after adjusting for covariates. However, when passage criteria for the final exam was defined as two or three correct, addition of a simulation exercise to the anatomy lecture decreased the rate of passage.