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Article
February 26, 1997

The Virtual Physician: The Flight Simulator of Medicine/ACLS Simulator

Author Affiliations

University of Virginia Health Sciences Center Charlottesville

 

1CD-ROM, requirements: 486SX 25 MHz processor, Windows 3.1 or higher, running in 386 enhanced mode, 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended), 9.5 MB free hard disk, sound card, double-speed CD-ROM drive, SVGA monitor with 800x600 resolution display capabilities; documentation: one 5 pp user's guide; $250, ISBN 0-443-07911-0, New York, NY, Churchill Livingstone, 1996.

JAMA. 1997;277(8):674-675. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540320076042

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Abstract

This CD-ROM produced by Churchill Livingstone medical publishers offers continuing medical education (CME) credit hours and an opportunity to review and practice resuscitation activities. The user interface is very hightech multimedia. A fast processor, sound card, CD-ROM drive, and at least 8 MB of RAM are necessary to fully appreciate the program's features.

The stated educational goal of The Virtual Physician is to simulate an actual patient sustaining a cardiac arrest in an emergency department setting. Although the effects are excellent, the simulation fails to be realistic. This is not a fault of the concept but a problem of the computer-student interface, which is limited by unrealistic actions of a mouse or any pointing device. The program is true to the learning goals of traditional advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) courses, emphasizing the use of initial defibrillation in ventricular fibrillation and reviewing the arrhythmia treatment algorithms.

The program offers several

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