Escape the EM Boards: Interactive Virtual Escape Room for GI Board Review
This interactive and entirely virtual escape room based on high yield gastrointestinal/abdominal board review material is a didactic activity for emergency medicine residents of all postgraduate years and third- or fourth-year medical students. This escape room can be completed in small teams or as individuals in a remote, in-person, or mixed location setting.
2020 is a year that will forever change medical education. The novel coronavirus 2019 pandemic caused many national, state, local, or hospital specific recommendations for transition of meetings to be completely virtual or to only allow for limited in-person meetings. In order to abide by these recommendations, the majority of medical education transitioned to online platforms. Now more than ever, creative and engaging methods for expanding clinical knowledge and teaching teamwork as well as unique integrations of technology for medical education delivery are needed.
By the end of this didactic activity, learners will be able to: 1) identify causes of upper gastrointestinal bleeding; 2) recall test-taking buzzwords for infectious causes of diarrhea; 2) acknowledge the correct hepatitis B titers that correspond with various clinical scenarios; 3) describe the management for alkali caustic ingestions; 4) determine the components of Maddrey Discriminant Function Score, Charcot’s triad, Ranson’s Criteria for Pancreatitis, and Glasgow-Blatchford Score; 5) diagnose specific gastrointestinal diseases from a clinical description; 6) choose the correct gastrointestinal diagnosis based on clinical image findings; 7) demonstrate teamwork in solving problems.
“Gamification” is the use of game elements in a nongame context.1 Gamification creates active, engaged learning opportunities and so it is a highly favored educational method for millennial learners.1 An Escape Room is a team-based game where a small group is locked in a room and they pick up objects at random in this room to solve a series of clues that will play a role in solving the final clue to “escape” the locked room. This didactic learning activity utilizes technology to deliver a fun and interactive distance learning activity that resembles a live escape room.
The interactive virtual escape room provided is a no cost, unique alternative educational activity that can be done either entirely or partly remotely. In order to replicate this team-based didactic exercise, the instructor needs to simply divide residents and students into small groups and then share with each group the link provided.
A five-point Likert scale survey was distributed to participating learners after completing this activity to assess relevance and satisfaction of the high yield gastrointestinal/abdominal board review escape room. Thirty-two of forty-two participating residents/medical students completed this seven-question survey.
All participating resident/medical students who completed the survey enjoyed this activity and that this was a unique learning experience, and the majority of participating residents/medical students thought this interactive virtual escape room was easy to use, learned something, thought this was a helpful way to review for emergency medicine boards or in-training exams, and preferred a game like this to a standard lecture. Additionally, over half of survey respondents said they are going to try to come up with a game for their assigned board review presentations.
Escape room gamification of high yield gastrointestinal/abdominal board review material was an engaging, fun, and effective distance learning activity for residents and medical students. This didactic activity not only promoted interactive learning but also encouraged virtual teamwork among small groups.
Gastroenterology, GI, abdominal, board review, in-training exam review, escape room, virtual didactics, distance learning, high yield, upper GI bleeding, esophageal varices, diarrhea, alkali ingestion, volvulus, foreign body, intussusception.