The influence of simulation-based physiology labs taught by anesthesiologists on the attitudes of first-year medical students towards anesthesiology

Samuel DeMaria, Ethan O. Bryson, Carol Bodian, Yury Khelemsk, Alan J. Sim, Andrew D. Schwartz, Daniel Katz, Adam I. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The development of medical students' perceptions of different medical specialties is based on many factors and influences their career choices and appreciation of other practitioners' knowledge and skills. The goal of this study was to determine if participation in a series of anesthesiologist-run, simulation-based physiology labs changed first year medical students' perceptions of anesthesiologists. Methods: One hundred first-year medical students were surveyed at random three months before completion of a simulation-based physiology lab run by anesthesiologists. All participants received the same survey instrument, which employed a 5-point Rating Scale to rate the appropriateness of several descriptive terms as they apply to a particular specialist or specialty. A post-simulation survey was performed to track changes in attitudes. Results: Response rates to the survey before and after the simulation labs were 75% and 97% (of the initial cohort responding), respectively. All students who filled out the post-simulation surveys had been exposed to anesthesiologists in the prior three months whereas none had interacted with surgeons in the interim. Nearly all had interacted with internal medicine specialists in that time period. No changes in the medical students' perceptions of surgeons or internal medicine specialists were evident. Statistically significant changes were found for most descriptors of anesthesiologists, with a trend towards a more favorable perception after the simulation program. Conclusions: Using a survey instrument containing descriptors of different medical specialists and specialties, we found an improved attitude towards anesthesiology after medical students participated in an anesthesiologist-run simulation-based physiology lab series. Given the importance of providing high quality medical education and attracting quality applicants to the field, integrati-on of anesthesiology staff into medical student courses at the non-clinical level appears useful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalMiddle East Journal of Anesthesiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2011


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