Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

High-fidelity simulation and virtual reality: An evaluation of medical students' experiences

Macnamara, Alexandra Frances; Bird, Katie; Rigby, Alan; Sathyapalan, Thozhukat; Hepburn, David


Alexandra Frances Macnamara

Katie Bird

David Hepburn


Background: Simulation technology is widely used in medical education, providing an environment in which students can develop and practise a multitude of skills that are relevant to clinical practice, without the risk of harm to patients. Methods: We conducted a mixed methods cross-over study with quantitative and qualitative outcomes. This analysed students' perceptions of two simulation technologies: a high-fidelity patient simulator and virtual reality. Twenty final year medical students completed a questionnaire after having experienced both simulation modalities. Results: Students scored the patient simulator higher in domains such as developing team working and € ABCDE assessment skills', whereas the virtual reality simulation was more immersive and fun. Participants found the patient simulator more useful in preparing them for clinical practice. Conclusion: Medical students in this study expressed that a high-fidelity patient simulator, in a simulated clinical environment, was of greater value to their preparation for clinical practice than virtual reality simulation of a similar environment. However, the virtual reality simulation offered a near comparable experience, and was found to be was enjoyable, immersive and easily portable.


Macnamara, A. F., Bird, K., Rigby, A., Sathyapalan, T., & Hepburn, D. (2021). High-fidelity simulation and virtual reality: An evaluation of medical students' experiences. BMJ Simulation & Technology Enhanced Learning, 7(6), 528-535.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 28, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 16, 2021
Publication Date 2021-07
Deposit Date Oct 1, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 7, 2021
Journal BMJ Simulation and Technology Enhanced Learning
Electronic ISSN 2056-6697
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 6
Pages 528-535
Public URL


Article (158 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations