Online quiz game engages medical, nursing students in healthy competition

Doctors and nurses in training are testing their medical knowledge with an online quiz game that the University of Alabama (UAB) at Birmingham says is going viral.

The game was developed by infectious disease doctors at the UAB School of Medicine, which introduced it to its internal medicine residency program in 2013, the university said in an announcement. The Kaizen quiz game, named for a Japanese phrase meaning "continuous improvement," was so popular the UAB Health System Foundation provided grant money for the creators to revise the software and purchase equipment needed for multiple games.

Kaizen since has spread to other residency programs and the nurse practitioner program at the university's nursing school, according to the announcement.

Players can answer the questions in just a few moments. They also compete as individuals and teams over the course of a semester to answer groups of questions every week. Students can send each other virtual stickers and badges that one associate professor likened to "digital high fives." The game includes an online leader board where students can check their standings, the university said.

The game lets students test their clinical knowledge "without the embarrassment of public failure," medical student Russell Marsh said in the announcement. Faculty members are studying how the game affects student performance and whether there's any correlation between game play and grades.

The University of Rome thinks so. Post-graduate surgical residents there were part of a study examining whether structured training using a Nintendo Wii console improved their performance on laparoscopic simulators. The findings suggested the answer was yes, FierceHealthIT previously reported: The Wii sports games required hand-eye coordination, depth perception and 3-D perception.

Elsewhere, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has developed a performance training model that draws on coaching techniques used in elite sports and music into its surgical training. The model emphasizes deliberate practice geared toward a well-defined goal and the use of structured feedback to refine performance.

And researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing, Baylor Scott & White Health and the University of Texas at Dallas used federal funding to develop a video game simulation that helps doctors and nurses learn how to work together.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement