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      The Zombie Virus Pandemic: An Innovative Simulation Integrating Virology, Population Health, and Bioethics for Preclinical Medical Students

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          Abstract

          Introduction

          Understanding population health in the context of infectious disease outbreaks is an important physician competency. However, identifying effective ways to engage early medical students in this content remains a challenge. We designed an innovative pandemic simulation for first-year medical students utilizing the pop culture theme of zombies.

          Methods

          This 2.5-hour simulation was conducted in 2018 and 2020 during students' virology course. Student teams collected and analyzed data to formulate hypotheses for the source pathogen. The teams completed reports explaining their diagnostic hypotheses, infection containment recommendations, and resource allocation recommendations. Learners completed an evaluation of the simulation through an online survey. Responses were analyzed using descriptive statistics; narrative responses were analyzed qualitatively for themes. A content analysis was performed on students' reports.

          Results

          Two hundred eighty-four medical students participated in this activity. Nearly all respondents agreed that the small-group format (98%, 2018 and 2020) and pace and duration (92%, 2018; 94%, 2020) were appropriate and that the activity was intellectually stimulating (97%, 2018; 96%, 2020). Learner engagement measures were high (90%-97%, 2018; 83%-96%, 2020). Analysis of students' reports revealed evidence of cognitive integration of virology, population health, and bioethics concepts, including integration of new learning content.

          Discussion

          Collaborative problem-solving during a simulated zombie-themed pandemic provided preclinical medical students with an engaging opportunity to integrate virology, population health, and bioethics concepts. Implementing this event required advanced planning, use of multiple spaces, learning materials preparation, and recruitment of several faculty, staff, and actors.

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          Most cited references33

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          Concerns and Responses for Integrating Health Systems Science Into Medical Education

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            Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development

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              ASPECT: A Survey to Assess Student Perspective of Engagement in an Active-Learning Classroom

              This paper describes the development and validation of a survey to measure students’ self-reported engagement during a wide variety of in-class active-learning exercises. The survey provides researchers and instructors alike with a tool to rapidly evaluate different active-learning strategies from the perspective of the learner.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                MedEdPORTAL
                MedEdPORTAL
                mep
                MedEdPORTAL : the Journal of Teaching and Learning Resources
                Association of American Medical Colleges
                2374-8265
                2020
                12 November 2020
                : 16
                : 11016
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Co-Course Director, Clinical Skills Curriculum, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Co-Course Director, Virology Course, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Assistant Dean for Curricular Innovation, Wake Forest School of Medicine
                [2 ] Assistant Professor, Department of General Internal Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Director of Healthcare Teaching and Learning, Wake Forest School of Medicine
                [3 ] Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Associate Dean for Educational Strategy & Innovation, Wake Forest School of Medicine; Co-Course Director, Virology Course, Wake Forest School of Medicine
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: jstancil@ 123456wakehealth.edu
                Article
                11016
                10.15766/mep_2374-8265.11016
                7666840
                33204840
                da625663-ccd1-4d25-b12c-f5703d0bf814
                © 2020 Jackson et al.

                This is an open-access publication distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

                History
                : 19 March 2020
                : 27 June 2020
                Page count
                Tables: 3, References: 33, Pages: 14
                Categories
                Original Publication

                virology,population health,epidemiology,bioethics,simulation,biostatistics & epidemiology,clinical reasoning/diagnostic reasoning,ethics/bioethics,health systems,infectious disease,editor's choice

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