In order to develop and sustain meaningful relationships with experts in the field, MSLs need to build trust and respect. This is a long process, and it requires more than recalling the right facts and citing the right papers. For a successful career, MSLs need to be able to think about healthcare decisions from a variety of perspectives and consider the values of different stakeholders.
Healthcare professionals face challenging decisions
Consider patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD), the principal types of inflammatory bowel disease. These are complex diseases in their own right, not to mention that each and every patient exhibits various disease severities and has different responses to treatment.
Now think about the physician. In addition to their enormous workload, they need to determine the best treatment for each patient, taking into account:
- the patient’s disease status
- the benefits, risks, and costs of each treatment option
- the chronicity of inflammatory bowel disease, which requires life-long treatment
As you can imagine, this decision puts enormous weight on the physician’s shoulders.
Our secret for encouraging empathy in MSLs
We place MSLs in the shoes of the physician using an interactive board game. Here, game pieces represent patient-specific cases of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. MSLs have to choose the best treatment option by placing the game pieces on descriptive board tiles. So far so good. But what happens when the patient relapses or has side-effects from the treatment and there are additional costs incurred? These real-life events are simulated with randomized event cards. As the MSLs follow the patients for several years, they are encouraged to think critically and decide on the most beneficial and cost-effective treatment option for the individual patient.
Now your MSLs are more effective communicators
Interactive board games go beyond traditional rote learning. By being confronted with patient disease cases that are usually not covered in the literature, MSLs gain perspective into the difficult decisions physicians make on a daily basis and are better equipped in sustaining meaningful discussions with them. Empathy for physicians will help MSLs build trust and respect.
Interactive board games promote a collaborative learning environment and inspire critical thinking. They can be tailored to a variety of learning objectives.
To learn more about board games as part of a MasterClass Medical Training, please download our free eBook.