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Evaluation of simulation methods for teaching peripheral arterial examination to medical students
  1. Syed Ali Naqi,
  2. Abdel Monim Salih,
  3. Anthony Hoban,
  4. Firas Ayoub,
  5. Michael Quirke,
  6. Arnold D K Hill,
  7. Claire Condron
  1. Department of Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Claire Condron, Department of Surgery, R.C.S.I. Education and Research Centre, Dublin 9, Ireland; ccondron{at}


Physical examination is a critical component of medical practice yet the focus on efficient patient turnover has impacted the availability of patients with clinical findings willing to be examined by students and skills' teaching is not consistent across clinical rotations. This work evaluates simulation methodologies for teaching of the peripheral arterial examination and evaluates whether skills learnt are transferable to clinical practice.

Second-year medical students were taught peripheral arterial examination on a SimMan 3G or with simulated patients (SPs). Both groups were assessed by Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) with outpatients who have been diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease.

There was no difference in the pass rate at OSCE between the two groups. SimMan better facilitated repeated practice, group learning, peer teaching and discussion, which were highly valued by the students. Students felt that the SImMan tutorial did not facilitate development of spatial cognition or pattern recognition. They also felt less well prepared to deal with real patients in terms of having practised appropriate language, issuing instructions and attempting to reassure patients.

Both methods of simulation teaching have distinct merits and the ideal approach maybe to use the SimMan in combination with SPs.

  • peripheral arterial examination
  • high fidelity simulation
  • simulated patients

Statistics from


  • Funding The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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