How did "The Voice" inspire a new unique method for learning neurology?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Charcot Amphitheater, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris. The candidates are waiting backstage, the jury is ready. It’s the final of a somewhat special competition, initiated by neurology professor Emmanuel Flamand-Roze: “We copied part of the scenario from the show “The Voice” and we applied it to learning neurology, particularly neurological semiology." Interviewed that very morning on Europe 1, he explained the premise behind of "The Move," his “reality medicine” contest.

The idea for "The Move” came from two observations. First, students are becoming increasingly weary of typical classroom arrangements (lectures in an amphitheater). The idea was to design a more interactive learning arrangement in which students could be more involved and have fun. Second, neurology is a scary subject for many students who consider it to be one of the most difficult courses. Fear of the subject along with apprehensions about caring for neurological patients is common in France, and around the world. According to Emmanuel Flamand-Roze, if we look at the demography of neurologists, “within 10 to 20 years, a large number of patients will have to be cared for by general practitioners as there won't be enough specialists."

The idea for the neurological semiology contest thus stemmed from a desire to fight neurophobia and modernize learning. And the contest is no joke. So what exactly does it entail? The students-candidates have to mime neurological symptoms. For example, “when a patient has a seizure, they convulse at first, then lose consciousness, become stiff and have more significant convulsions before slowly regaining consciousness,” the neurologist said. For their final exam, the students will also draw from a hat to determine which disorder they will have to imitate.

To help them, the teachers also perform, miming the symptoms themselves. Using gestures allows students to better recognize and memorize the different conditions. But having fun doesn’t mean making fun, and the contest is never used to poke fun at patients suffering from neurological diseases or to criticize those students who have a particular talent for the exercises!

After two “trial” years, the results of this innovative concept were published in Revue neurologique. In the article, students claim 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 teachings (86%). This innovative method of learning represents a precious tool for teaching medical students and fighting neurophobia.
- Interview of Emmanuel Flamand-Roze by Caroline Roux, in « Interview découverte » on Europe 1, 25 May, 2016.

- Emmanuel Flamnd-Roze et al., « The Move, an innovative simulation-based medical education program using roleplay to teach neurological semiology: Students’ and teachers’ perceptions », in Revue neurologique, vol.172, n°4-5, April 2016.


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