• Lea Kováčiková Comenius University
  • Ferdinand Varga Comenius University
  • Eva Kvaltínyová Comenius University
  • Jana Plevková Comenius University
  • Tomáš Buday Comenius University
Keywords: simulation-based learning, education, pathophysiology, innovative learning


Simulation-based learning in medicine has gained substantial importance. It is complementary to often limited clinical practice, and helps interconnect theoretical knowledge with practical training. Simulations are implicated in clinical subjects, but based on recent understanding, simulation can also be used in preclinical subjects, where it can support presented tasks. Simulation technology was used for elective practical sessions in a pathophysiology course, with both measurable outcomes and students’ feedback evaluated. This study was conducted in Slovakia with volunteers (n = 22), who were 3rd-year students of General Medicine (simulation group), paired with classmates in traditional seminars (control group; n = 22) with the same achievement grades. The control group had completed traditional seminars, whereas the simulation group had completed simulation-based seminars in cardiovascular pathophysiology. A standardized student feedback survey, visual analogue scale, and credit tests for regular pathophysiology were used to perform the analysis. Subjective feedback suggested positive outcomes in approximately 80% of students. An objective assessment showed that simulation-based seminars did not increase the theoretical knowledge as documented by 1st credit test (simulation vs control; 42 ± 6 vs 41 ± 4; p > 0.05), but rather their approach to clinical application of obtained information and motivation to study.


Berkel, H. J., Scherpbier, A., Hillen, H. & Vleuten, C. V. (2010). Lessons from problem-based learning. Oxford University Press.

Bhattacharya, N., Shankar, N., Khaliq, F., Rajesh, C. S., & Tandon, O. P. (2005). Introducing problem-based learning in physiology in the conventional Indian medical curriculum. Natl Med J India, 18(2).

Dent, J. A. & Harden, R. M. (2009). A practical guide for medical teachers. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

Hanacek, J. (2001). Undergraduate medical education in Slovakia--present state and future needs. Bratisl Lek Listy, 9, 438–443.

Harris, D. M., Ryan, K., & Rabuck, C. (2012). Using a high-fidelity patient simulator with first-year medical students to facilitate learning of cardiovascular function curves. Adv Physiol Educ, 36(3), 213-219.

Kovac, Z. (2007). Beijing declaration on medical pathophysiology education. Adv Physiol Educ, 31(4), 387-388.

Mierson, S. (1998). A problem-based learning course in physiology for undergraduate and graduate basic science students. Am J Physiol, 275, S16-S27.

Wang, Z., Liu, Q., & Wang, H. (2013). Medical simulation-based education improves medicos' clinical skills. J Biomed Res, 27(2), 81-84.

Wood, D. F. (2003). Problem based learning. BMJ, 326(7384), 328.