MacSim is a student-led simulation workshop for learners to develop clinical competencies. Post-simulation, participants felt more prepared to make clinical decisions, collaborate, and communicate in a virtual setting. 92% of respondents agreed MacSim was a valuable learning experience.
Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has restricted in-person clinical training for medical students. Simulation-based teaching is a promising tool to introduce learners to the clinical environment. MacSim is a student-led simulation workshop for learners to develop clinical competencies. The objective of this study was to assess the impacts of MacSim and participants' perspectives regarding simulation-based teaching. Methods: A comprehensive simulation, representative of a virtual care scenario, was delivered to 42 pre-clerkship medical students via video conferencing. In pairs, participants obtained histories and carried out management plans for simulated patients. Participants were surveyed and interviewed. Survey data were analyzed using the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test. Interview transcript data were thematically analyzed. Results: Post-simulation, participants (n=24) felt more prepared to make clinical decisions, collaborate, and communicate in a virtual setting. 92% of respondents agreed MacSim was a valuable learning experience and 96% agreed more simulation-based learning should be integrated into curricula. Emergent themes from interviews (n=12) included: 1) value of simulation fidelity, 2) value of physician feedback, and 3) effectiveness of MacSim in improving virtual clinical skills. Conclusion: Simulation-based teaching is of importance and educational value to medical students. It may play an increasingly prevalent role in education as virtual care is likely to become more prevalent.