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Simulation as a Tool to Illustrate Clinical Pharmacology Concepts to Healthcare Program Learners

  • Andrews, Liza Barbarello1
  • Barta, Les1
  • 1 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey,
Published Article
Current Pharmacology Reports
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Jun 30, 2020
DOI: 10.1007/s40495-020-00221-w
PMID: 32837852
PMCID: PMC7324303
PubMed Central


Purpose of Review This article provides an overview of simulation as an effective and evolving tool for teaching clinical pharmacology within the health professions. Further, opportunities for positioning this methodology to meet current educational challenges are presented. Recent Findings Clinical pharmacology is an essential core competency for all health professionals, correlating with ability to appropriately and safely prescribe, administer, or optimize medication regimens. Computer-assisted learning became the earliest form of simulation applied to pharmacology teaching, arising from increasing pressure to deviate from animal and tissue experiments in undergraduate education in the 1990s. In the last decade, high fidelity patient simulation, using manikin technology, has demonstrated benefit in building connectivity between knowledge and clinical application within patient care. Serious games, or computer-based educational games, provide an alternative method for creating context, with potential realized for newer technologies like augmented reality. These tools, while beneficial, are not applied in a uniform manner across programs. We advocate for routine incorporation of these tools as they offer significant opportunities to address the challenges faced in today’s healthcare education, particularly with the need for continued social distancing and limitations on in-person educational engagement during coronavirus. Partnership with faculty utilizing simulation in other areas of the curriculum will assist in overcoming potential barriers to implementation. Summary Simulation provides various methods that have significant potential to address the challenges in today’s provision of clinical pharmacology education, especially with new directives for social distancing and limitations for in-person educational engagement.

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