The first few times I played a new, Web-based and Stanford-designed medical game called Septris, all my patients died. After a few rounds, however, I felt my competitive fire ignite. And with a little more help from the game's Dr. Sepsis, the better I became at treating sepsis (in the game, anyway), despite a lack of a medical degree. That degree of engagement is the whole point of the game, as I wrote in a story today:
Created by [Lisa Shieh, MD,] and a team of Stanford physicians, researchers and education technology experts, the game can be played on a mobile phone, a tablet such as an iPad, or a computer, and it represents a promising new approach to medical education. The idea is to plug knowledge about treating sepsis into the brains of clinicians who might find learning by digital game more appealing than a lecture, especially if they grew up with Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox. The name of this medical training tool is inspired by one of the world’s most popular computer games, Tetris.
The game's designers wanted to keep the experience fun, despite the seriousness of the issue. Septris is free, unless players want to earn continuing medical education (CME) credits. In that case, there is a standard $20 CME test fee.