Infectious Diseases Simulation for Medical Students: Experiential Instruction on Personal Protective Equipment

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5 Scopus citations


Introduction: The emergence of COVID-19 highlighted the critical importance of appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the safety of patients and health care personnel. However, previously published survey data indicated that formal instruction on the correct utilization of PPE is uncommon in medical school curricula, and there is no published guidance about optimal instruction methods. The infectious disease (ID) simulation lab at Oregon Health & Science University filled this need. Methods: Second- through fourth-year medical students participated in the infection intersession, a 2-week didactic session that students were required to enroll in once during their clinical rotations. As part of the course, students completed the ID simulation lab, during which they were presented with common ID syndromes (suspected tuberculosis, C. difficile colitis, and neutropenic fever) and asked to select the proper PPE prior to interacting with standardized patients. ID physicians acted as the patients and then conducted feedback sessions, which focused on PPE choice, donning and doffing techniques, and ID diagnosis and management principles. Results: More than 500 medical students participated between 2016 and 2020, demonstrating the feasibility of the experience. The average exam scores were above 80%, and the average student evaluation score of the session was 8.9 out of 10, demonstrating acceptability. Discussion: The ID simulation lab allowed students to reinforce didactic teaching about PPE, dispel common misconceptions, and receive real-time feedback from ID clinicians. Availability of the lab and facilitators were limiting factors. Future work will focus on better understanding the efficacy of the sessions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11031
Number of pages1
JournalMedEdPORTAL : the journal of teaching and learning resources
StatePublished - Nov 24 2020


  • AIDS
  • C. difficile
  • Infection Control
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Influenza
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Simulation
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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