The Fringe Abstract

Game-based Educational Activities: Are they a Valid Format for Physician Learning? (F002)

Kristin Fludder, BA (Accreditation Manager, pmiCME, Boston, MA); Alyce Kuklinski, NP, RN
(Medical Director, pmiCME, Boston, MA); Marissa Seligman, PharmD, CCMEP (Chief Clinical
and Regulatory Affairs Officer & Senior Vice President, pmiCME, Boston, MA)


Game-based educational activities have received a burst of attention in the field of professional medical education as an engaging and effective learning tool. Recently conducted activities by Pri-Med and pmiCME demonstrated positive outcomes affecting physician learning.


Approximately 57 million Americans have played a social network game, either online or via a mobile device and these include physician learners and other healthcare professional. In order to explore learner perceptions of game-based formats as physician learning tools, pmiCME recently implemented a “Medical Brain Game,” session as a core curriculum session at its Pri-Med Access with ACP CME activities. Pri-Med also conducted a corresponding survey of meeting attendees regarding their interest in such formats.


In collaboration with the American College of Physicians (ACP), pmiCME developed a 60-minute game-show-style session (led by selected faculty) based on content developed for an ACP board review course. Sessions employed an audience response system (ARS) that scored individual and team/group responses and were conducted as part of the CME-certified Pri-Med Access with ACP live meeting series in spring, 2011. Learner evaluation and survey data were collected and analyzed in order to gauge perception of the activity.


Learners who participated in the “Medical Brain Game” rated the session positively in session evaluations. A survey of 1,893 clinicians found that nearly 60% believed that “edutainment” formats (such as medial trivia competitions and virtual patient simulations) promote effective learning, and 57% were interested in participating in a future “edutainment” format.

Applications and future directions

Game-based educational formats have merit. Preliminary research indicates that physicians perceive them as worthwhile and effective. CME providers should consider game-based formats when developing activities and should measure their impact in affecting changes in physician knowledge, competence and performance.


No conflicts of interest to report.