Introduction: Neurological disorders are frequently being managed by general practitioners. It is therefore critical that future physicians become comfortable with neurological examination and physical diagnosis. Graduating medical students often consider neurological examination as one of the clinical skills they are least comfortable with, and they even tend to be neurophobic. One way to improve the learning of neurological semiology is to design innovative learner-friendly educational methods, including simulation training.
Methods: The feasibility of mime-based roleplaying was tested by a simulation training program in neurological semiology called 'The Move'. The program was proposed to third-year medical students at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris during their neurology rotation. Students were trained to roleplay patients by miming various neurological syndromes (pyramidal, vestibular, cerebellar, parkinsonian) as well as distal axonopathy, chorea and tonic-clonic seizures. Using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire, the students' and teachers' emotional experience and views on the impact of the program were then investigated.
Results: A total of 223/365 students (61%) chose to participate in the study. Both students and teachers felt their participation was pleasant. Students stated that The Move increased their motivation to learn neurological semiology (78%), and improved both their understanding of the subject (77%) and their long-term memorization of the teaching content (86%). Although only a minority thought The Move was likely to improve their performance on their final medical examination (32%), a clear majority (77%) thought it would be useful for their future clinical practice. Both students (87%) and teachers (95%) thought The Move should be included in the medical curriculum.
Conclusion: Mime-based roleplaying simulation may be a valuable tool for training medical students in neurological semiology, and may also help them to overcome neurophobia.
Keywords: Medical education; Mime; Neurological curriculum; Neurology; Neurophobia; Roleplay; Simulation.
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