Gamification of Graduate Medical Education in an Emergency Medicine Residency Program


North Florida


Osceola Regional Medical Center

Document Type


Publication Date



Adult learning, Gamification, Medical education, Serious games, Team-based learning


Emergency Medicine | Medical Education


OBJECTIVES: Our program implemented East EMWars, a year-long, longitudinal game that added competition to our existing curricular content. We surveyed residents to investigate the impact of gamification in emergency medicine residency training. We hypothesized that residents would report higher levels of motivation, engagement, and challenge with gamification compared to traditional didactics. Furthermore, we hypothesized that residents would exhibit generally positive perceptions about gamification as a learning tool and that it would translate to improved performance on the annual in-training examination.

METHODS: This was a single-center, prospective pre- and post-intervention survey study at a community-based emergency medicine residency program. Given the multiplicity of research questions and inherent nature of educational research, a mixed methods approach was utilized. We utilized nonparametric testing for quantitative data with paired responses pre- and post-intervention. We solicited comments on the post-intervention that were categorized under thematic approach and presented in complete and unedited form in the results.

RESULTS: Eighteen (100%) of eligible residents in our program participated in both surveys. There were statistically significant increases in reported levels of motivation, engagement, and challenge with gamification compared to traditional didactic methods. Residents also reported overwhelmingly positive general perceptions about gamification and its broader generalizability and applicability. We did not reach statistical significance in determining if in-training exam scores were associated with our gamification initiative.

CONCLUSIONS: This study was a first-of-its-kind look into a longitudinal game in an emergency medicine residency program. Although our results are encouraging, medical educators need further research to determine if this increase in motivation, engagement, and challenge will be associated with an increase in examination scores or, more importantly, healthcare outcomes. Theory-based, broader-scale, prospective studies are needed to further explore and help establish these associations and outcomes.

Publisher or Conference

International Journal of Emergency Medicine