Recommended reading from Anne Taylor-Vaisey: This article was just published in Cyberpsychology & behavior : the impact of the Internet, multimedia and virtual reality on behavior and society. (How's that for a title?) The December 2005 issue is free and it contains some pretty interesting articles.
Roy MJ, Sticha DL, Kraus PL, Olsen DE. Simulation and virtual reality in medical education and therapy: a protocol. Cyberpsychol Behav 2006;9:245-247.
Abstract: Continuing medical education has historically been provided primarily by didactic lectures, though adult learners prefer experiential or self-directed learning. Young physicians have extensive experience with computer-based or "video" games, priming them for medical education- and treating their patients-via new technologies. We report our use of standardized patients (SPs) to educate physicians on the diagnosis and treatment of biological and chemical warfare agent exposure. We trained professional actors to serve as SPs representing exposure to biological agents such as anthrax and smallpox. We rotated workshop participants through teaching stations to interview, examine, diagnose and treat SPs. We also trained SPs to simulate a chemical mass casualty (MASCAL) incident. Workshop participants worked together to treat MASCAL victims, followed by discussion of key teaching points. More recently, we developed computer-based simulation (CBS) modules of patients exposed to biological agents. We compare the strengths and weaknesses of CBS vs. live SPs. Finally, we detail plans for a randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of virtual reality (VR) exposure therapy compared to pharmacotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is associated with significant disability and healthcare costs, which may be ameliorated by the identification of more effective therapy.
For more of Anne's recommended reads, check out ATV's Page.