Conference proceeding


Physicians participating in military expeditions will increasingly be confronted with smaller and simpler medical facilities (for instance field hospitals) in a variety of settings. Interviews with several experienced military physicians and educators revealed that it is challenging to perform medical skills during current military expeditions and probably even more so in the future. For instance physicians have to cope with extreme climates, with contradicting and incomplete information, or have to endure physical discomfort due to military transportation. This requires specific skills and practice levels that cannot be acquired in regular civilian hospitals.
Adventure based learning (also known as experiential learning or action learning) may be useful in this context. This is a powerful and exciting methodology based on learning through experience. A life adventure game is developed in which military physicians experience a military expedition. For about 2 hours they are at the mercy of expeditional circumstances. When after about 1 hour they have to perform their medical skills, again, they will be taken by surprises and distractions. This adventure is build around a Human Patient Simulator, climate rooms with low or high temperatures, and a transportation simulator. Effects on self-efficacy, perceived mental and physical effort and medical skills is monitored. A pilot with 6 physicians indicate that the adventure scenario is realistic and helpful for competence development and maintenance. The results of the pilot will be presented during the conference.


Education and training; Competencies; Adventure Based Learning; Experiential Learning; Military; Military physicians; Extreme context

picture of N.C.M. Theunissen

Last updated on 12 February, 2015.