Family Game Show-style Didactic for Teaching Nervous System Disorders during Emergency Medicine Training
Emergency medicine residents and medical students
The field of emergency medicine requires learners to build a vast library of illness scripts to be accessible in a rapid manner. Illness scripts are refined and reinforced as senior physicians teach learners common associations between diagnoses, presentation, workup findings, and treatment modalities.1 In order to examine these associations, we developed a didactic session based on the popular television game show “Family Feud” to teach important neurologic conditions related to emergency medicine. This lecture was designed to be an interactive competition, leveraging group participation, competition, and expert opinion.
Neurologic emergencies are very common, affecting millions of Americans yearly. It is important for emergency medicine physicians to quickly recognize these conditions and initiate treatment because delay can lead to devastating outcomes.2The neurologic conditions covered in the lecture were chosen based on the 2016 EM model of clinical practice, sections 7.0: Head, ear, eye, nose, throat disorders, 10.0: Systemic infectious disorders, 12.0: Nervous system disorders, and 19.0: Procedures and skills integral to the practice of emergency medicine, as well as author experience.
By the end of this didactic exercise the learner will: 1) name 13 important neurologic conditions related to emergency medicine: TPA (tissue plasminogen activator) contraindications/TPA eligibility, optic neuritis, botulism, giant cell (temporal) arteritis, viral encephalitis, neurocysticercosis, rabies, myasthenia gravis, neurosyphilis, status epilepticus, Bell’s palsy, dementia vs. delirium, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (Guillain-Barré); 2) recognize five pattern words associated with each neurologic condition; 3) understand exam findings, diagnostic tests, and/or treatments for 13 important neurologic conditions.
A survey was sent through a national emergency medicine education listserv (Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine [CORD-EM]) asking educators to list common word or phrase associations that come to mind with a list of neurological diagnoses. A PowerPoint lecture was created in the form of the game, Family Feud, using the data from this national survey. The game Family Feud requires participant teams to guess answers to certain questions by attempting to guess the most popular answers of survey respondents. At our weekly residency conference, residents were divided into teams and offered the opportunity to compete in a game testing knowledge of nervous system disorders. Each neurology topic was then addressed by a mini-lecture to review pertinent concepts in the disease process. There was no formal assessment at the end of this lecture; however, learners actively participated throughout the lecture. Questions were discussed at the end of each round giving learners the opportunity to fully understand topics.
Efficacy of the educational content was assessed based on learner feedback as well as observation of the learners during the exercise.
Learners were engaged with the exercise and verbal feedback was uniformly positive. Learners were enthusiastic about the format and requested more sessions created in a similar game.
Based on feedback as well as observation of the learners, the lecture was both an effective high-yield neurology refresher and team-building exercise. Learners enjoyed the opportunity to compete as a team. Gamification seemed to improve student enjoyment, engagement, and attention, which has also been shown in the literature.3 Our residency program intends to implement similar lectures in the future.
Neurology, TPA contraindications, TPA eligibility, upper motor neuron lesion, lower motor neuron lesion, optic neuritis, aphasia, botulism, ACA (anterior cerebral artery) stroke, giant cell (temporal) arteritis, Bell’s palsy, viral encephalitis, Todd’s paralysis, neurocysticercosis, tonic-clonic seizure, rabies, epidural hematoma, myasthenia gravis, spinal cord injury, neurosyphilis, Glasgow Coma Score (GCS), status epilepticus, Horner’s syndrome, subarachnoid hemorrhage, dementia, delirium, Parkinson’s disease, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (Guillain-Barré).