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The educational value of using MedicFX facial overlays

The medical field (doctors, nurses, first-responders, etc) is filled with some of the most brilliant and selfless humans out there. This field has seen an evolution in simulated teaching environments that, at their best, are meant to access both the intellectual and emotional side of a person’s capability to work well under pressure. The training mannequins and models that schools use to cultivate these skills have historically been abstract in their realism. We’ve found that mannequins with a realistic and specific identity can give more sensitivity to the learning experience.

Unconscious bias for familiar faces is a lifelong instinct, apparent in almost every human being. If we meet people that look like our parents, our friends, our favorite performers, etc., their appearance, alone, can instantly affect how easily we engage with them. Similarly, if we encounter people from backgrounds different than our own, backgrounds that we’ve not had or made adequate opportunities to meet or get to know, even the most outgoing and open-minded of us may recognize the hesitancy of not knowing how best to engage. We can, simultaneously, possess great cultural humility while still operating out of our inherent comfort zones. All of the above is to say that using realism in the medical training field brings out crucial elements of our subconscious comfort zones, and can help facilitate better understanding of how we care for diverse patients equally.  

We, at MedicFX, do think it is important for medical trainees to see different faces in simulations. Rather than perpetuating stereotypes (something that, unfortunately, many manikins already do) we want to show the variety of human faces folks come across in everyday life. There is something extraordinary about a face that is realistic enough to inspire human narratives and backstories. Our facial overlays prepare doctors and surgeons for the real humanity that they will encounter while on the job, in all of its diversity. We hope their realism will help these amazing professionals to confront the psychology of working well in crisis before they progress to the real experience.

MedicFX Face overlays are affordable and easy to use. There are lots of different faces to choose from and they can be customized as well to fit any simulation scenario.

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