Objective: This study aimed to investigate whether the type of simulation-based learning (learning by doing versus vicarious learning) and the order in which these activities are carried out (learning by doing vicarious learning versus vicarious learning learning by doing) have any effect on the acquisition of knowledge on effective doctorpatient communication strategies.
Study Design: A descriptive study.
Place and Duration of Study: At Obstetrics & Gynecology Department, Islamic International Medical College Trust,Railways Hospital, awalpindi from April 2013 to June2013.
Materials and Methods: The sample consisted of 33 undergraduate medical students of 3 batches (25 female, 8 male). They participated in two separate simulation sessions, each of which was 30 minutes long and was followed by a collaborative peer feedback phase.
Results: Vicarious learning led to greater knowledge of doctorpatient communication scores than learning by doing. The order in which vicarious learning was experienced had no influence. The inclusion of an observation script also enabled significantly greater learning in students to whom this script was given compared with students who were not supported in this way, but the presence of a feedback script had no effect.
Conclusion: Students appear to learn at least as much, if not more, about doctorpatient communication by observing their peers interact with SPs as they do from interacting with SPs themselves.
Key words: vicarious learning, hands on training, communication skills.