The Biggest Problem with How We Communicate Complex Medicine and How to Fix It


Medical and scientific content creators have to build out materials that communicate complex ideas simply, all while engaging learners in the experience.

That’s easier said than done, and much medical content fails to engage, isn’t tailored to specific learning objectives, and limits learning to a physical location, written text or 2D images. For our future doctors, nurses, and medical device experts, that’s a problem.

immersive medical education

The biggest problem in medical education

Over 90% of medical schools in the United States and Canada use online materials to supplement their courses. However, most online learning materials that exist today don’t take full advantage of the power of digital. They are simply physical formats distributed on the internet. Think ebooks and PDFs and even, in some cases, online quizzes.  

Content that does take make full use of the digital medium (like video games and Google Maps) is interactive, embeddable, available anytime, anywhere, and tells a story. Medical content has not kept up, however, limiting how learners learn and how much they can retain.

How this affects today’s medical learners

Learners lack interactivity.

Learners need hands-on experience. It’s not enough for them to read an article and look at 2D images to understand the subject matter. They need to explore the complex ideas in a way words and pictures can’t offer. Studies show that interactivity and practical experience are key to retaining information, and yet much of how we teach medical concepts remains static.

Learners engage with digital content differently.

Think of how your learners interact with the world. It’s digital. It’s fast. It’s engaging.

Imagine a newly hired medical salesman trainee, who arrives home after a long day of trying to grasp the materials in his training course. He wants to unwind after the day, so he picks up his controller and spends an hour or two playing video games, traveling the galaxy at his leisure.

Whether he realizes it or not, he is engaging in content that’s tailored to his achievements, needs, and performance.

Don’t expect this to go away, either. As people consume more interactive content and become accustomed to visual experiences, they’ll need their educational content to engage them in the same ways.

Learners practice medicine in 3D.

This might seem like an obvious statement, but think about it for a minute. How can learners engage and retain material well if it doesn’t teach them in a format that’s practical to them?

When the medical students complete their education and medical device sales trainees complete their training, what awaits them? 3D people in a 3D world with 3D problems – not static photos and 2D scenarios.

So now what?

immersive medical education

How to fix the problem.

1. Create tailored content specific to your learning objective.

Remember that medical device trainee? He engages in his tailored content through his video games. So bring that same concept into his medtech training. Allow him to explore the complexities of medicine by giving him options of how he goes about learning.

Why give him just pictures and words about medicine when you can give him customizable information specific to medtech sales? He needs different information than a medical student, so make it custom to him. There is no “one size fits all” in tailored content.

2. Build engaging experiences that tell a story.

Stories are powerful learning tools. Think of them as “the emotional glue that connects the audience to the message.” If they’re used correctly, stories give your audience the emotional motivation to learn and they will remember more of what they learned for longer.

Need some help developing your engaging story? Check out our recent blog post “3 Steps to Developing Medical Content that Tells a Story”

3. Deliver virtual learning options, accessible anytime anywhere.

If 2D learning can’t deliver the needed methods of learning and preparation, you have to get your students and salespeople learning in 3D.

With the BioDigital Human, your learner can explore interactive, 3D material from their laptop, phone or tablet at any time. Now that medtech salesperson or that medical student can engage the complicated content of medicine in the palm of their hand from their couch at home or on the job. This sets your learners up for success in the future when they finally have to use all that complex information in their 3D world.

Unleash the potential of 3D

Deliver complex content in a way that tells your learners that you get them and you want to help them succeed.

Start helping your learners engage with content effectively. Book a demo with a strategist from BioDigital today.

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