The final prototype of "Harvey," a cardiology patient simulator, was completed in 1976. A review and critique of the simulator's nonauscultatory and auscultatory physical findings by cardiologists indicated that the simulator was capable of faithfully reproducing the blood pressure, jugular venous pulsations, carotid and peripheral arterial pulsations, precordial impulses and auscultatory events of almost all cardiac diseases. Pilot studies using the simulator in a formal senior medical student elective program in cardiology showed an average gain in bedside examination skills of 32 percent (p < 0.01). This improvement occurred with as little as 1 hour of instructor time with students studying eight simulated cardiac disease states and associated slide material for 1 hour per disease over a 2 week period in a self-teaching format. To assess the acceptability of the device, 770 undergraduate and graduate physicians, family practitioners, internists and cardiologists were exposed to the cardiology patient simulator. Their reaction was positive, 93 percent rating it excellent and 100 percent wishing to be taught with the device again in the future. Prolonged periods of use demonstrated the technical reliability of the simulator. Formal multicenter studies are now underway that will assess its effectiveness as a teaching and testing device. The long range goals of these efforts remain: (1) to produce better trained physicians in less time and at less cost; and (2) to provide an objective method to measure the clinical competency and skills of students and physicians in patient-oriented examinations, such as those for Board certification and recertification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine