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Image: Tina’s video game

Dr Tina Gao, a lecturer at SOVS, is developing a video game to teach clinical case analysis skills. This narrative-based video game is akin to a “choose your own adventure” story, where students must navigate through an eye exam from start to finish, making every decision along the way as they would when examining a real patient in clinic. The game will be deployed online later in the year, and will help students prepare for clinical practice.

In traditional pre-clinical teaching of case analysis skills, students are presented with clinical data from a completed examination and discuss the case in groups, either within tutorial sessions or as take-home assignments. When faced with a real patient, however, students do not have the luxury of taking hours to study the eye exam results. Instead, decisions such as what clinical tests to conduct, differential diagnosis, and formulating management plans must be done “on-their-feet”, in parallel with actually performing the tests and communicating with the patient. The video game aims to simulate this step-by-step clinical decision-making process, forcing students to balance the thoroughness of their clinical testing with time-keeping requirements, and providing feedback about their decisions via patient outcomes.

In collaboration with Dr Joanna Black at SOVS and others at Australian optometry schools, we are also currently seeking funding opportunities to expand the program to include a diverse library of case scenarios.

Tina Gao

Dr Tina Gao