Humans; Students, Medical; Educational Status; Clinical Decision-Making; Computer Simulation; Emergency Medicine
INTRODUCTION: Operation Bushmaster is a high-fidelity military medical field practicum for fourth-year medical students at the Uniformed Services University. During Operation Bushmaster, students treat live-actor and mannequin-based simulated patients in wartime scenarios throughout the five-day practicum. This study explored the impact of participating in Operation Bushmaster on students' decision-making in a high-stress, operational environment, a crucial aspect of their future role as military medical officers.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A panel of emergency medicine physician experts used a modified Delphi technique to develop a rubric to evaluate the participants' decision-making abilities under stress. The participants' decision-making was assessed before and after participating in either Operation Bushmaster (control group) or completing asynchronous coursework (experimental group). A paired-samples t-test was conducted to detect any differences between the means of the participants' pre- and posttest scores. This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at Uniformed Services University #21-13079.
RESULTS: A significant difference was detected in the pre- and posttest scores of students who attended Operation Bushmaster (P < .001), while there was no significant difference in the pre- and posttest scores of students who completed online, asynchronous coursework (P = .554).
CONCLUSION: Participating in Operation Bushmaster significantly improved the control group participants' medical decision-making under stress. The results of this study confirm the effectiveness of high-fidelity simulation-based education for teaching decision-making skills to military medical students.
Cole, Rebekah; Garrigan, Audra G; Peters, Sidney A; Conley, Sean P; Rudinsky, Sherri L; Tilley, Laura; Vojta, Leslie; Schwartz, James; Weston, Christopher; and Goolsby, Craig, "The Impact of Operation Bushmaster on Medical Student Decision-making in a High-Stress, Operational Environment." (2023). Health Sciences Education Research. Paper 365.