Acquisition of Teamwork and Communication Skills Using High-Technology Simulation for Preclerkship Medical Students

Vidya Menon, Ravi Bhoja, Joan Reisch, Matthew Kosemund, Deborah Hogg, Aditee Ambardekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction Teamwork failures are a major source of preventable error in medicine. Acquisition of skills early in training seems beneficial for impacting system-level change. Simulation-based curricula provide a psychologically safe and formative environment to learn and practice team skills. This project aims to assess teamwork and communication skill acquisition in preclerkship medical students during a longitudinal simulation-based curriculum. Methods This is a prospective, observational study of medical students participating in a high-technology simulation curriculum on team principles. Students, in groups of 5 to 7, participated in 6 mannequin-based simulation sessions over 10 months coordinated with an organ system-based preclerkship course. Each scenario was executed by a simulation technologist and guided by a simulation educator who functioned as a bedside nurse and led a postsimulation debrief. Likert-based, self- and global assessments completed by students and facilitators, respectively, were used to evaluate the teams. Descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney U test were used to analyze data using a P value of less than 0.05 for statistical significance and a null hypothesis stating that there would be no change in behavior. The primary outcome measure was improvement in the teamwork and communication domains of both assessments. Results Students (N = 231) were divided into the same 32 groups during every session. At the end of every session, each student completed a self-assessment and each educator completed the team's global assessment for teamwork. Median scores for teamwork and communication domains increased between the first and sixth sessions on both assessments. Mann-Whitney U analysis of self-assessment scores showed Z values between -5.30 and -8.83 and P values of less than 0.00001. Mann-Whitney U analysis of global assessment scores showed Z values ranging from -3.43 to -5.24 and P values between 0.0031 and less than 0.00001. Conclusions There was meaningful improvement in scores in the domains of teamwork and communication over the 10-month, simulation-based curriculum designed to teach and hone teamwork skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E181-E187
JournalSimulation in Healthcare
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Preclerkship simulation
  • global assessment
  • high-technology simulation
  • mannequin-assisted
  • self-assessment
  • teamwork and communication skills
  • undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Modeling and Simulation


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