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05/14/2010

Becoming a Doctor–By Video Game?

Apothecary Healers vs. Lords of Pestilence in the land of Soma? No, it’s not something you missed from Brave New World or a bad knock off of Lord of the Rings. In fact, it’s a new video game called “Healing Blade” created by Nerdcore Learning (how’d they come up with that name?) designed to teach medical students how to treat bacterial infections one pathogen at a time.

According to The Scientist, the game introduces basic concepts of bacteriology in a way that med students find both memorable and fun. So does it work? Well the students seem to think so and the game is selling like hotcakes.

And while this new way of teaching doctors concepts isn’t likely to be applicable to most kinds of medical knowledge, acknowledging that a new generation of physicians who may be “game” (pun intended) for other pedagogies is important. This is has certainly been the trend in medical ethics where everything from television to movies to plays to literature to comics have been cited as ways to teach morals in medicine. Maybe it’s time the rest of medicine caught on….

I wonder if Nerdcore will be up for making “Healing Blade 2” featuring Wizened Bioethicists vs. Dukes of Injustice. Just an idea guys.

Summer Johnson, PhD

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