Cost Effective Simulation
Clinical training is based primarily on the apprenticeship model, with trainees learning while providing patient care. This is less than optimal both for the patients in terms of quality of care and for trainees whose experience is limited to the random set of cases they encounter. Simulation has the potential to address these issues. A challenge to the widespread adoption of many high-fidelity simulators is their cost. This chapter describes two cost-effective, high-fidelity MR simulators. The first aims to improve the learning outcomes of trainees who are taught the fundamental principles of IGI. The second aims to teach the cognitive and motor skills required for acquisition of voiding cystourethrography x-ray fluoroscopy images. Both simulators reduce costs by using open source software and consumer grade hardware, thus replacing commercial tracking devices with a webcam-based tracking approach. Further reduction in costs while maintaining a sufficient degree of realism is enabled by judicious selection of phantoms representing the patient, such as a LEGO or anatomical phantom with the IGI simulator and a simple box phantom with the fluoroscopy simulator. An evaluation of both systems found them to be appropriate simulation solutions with sufficient fidelity for their respective educational goals.