Original Publication
Open Access

Computerized Simulation of the Acute Management of Ectopic Pregnancy

Published: October 27, 2011 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8430

Included in this publication:

  • Surgical Case.docx
  • Instructor's Guide.doc
  • Medical Case.docx

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Ectopic pregnancy is a common clinical presentation in gynecology. It requires timely and critical evaluation and management. Computerized simulation allows trainees to acquire competency in the management of ectopic pregnancy outside of the clinical arena. This resource contains two simulation cases that allow learners to develop a full strategy for evaluation and management of ectopic pregnancy outside the clinical practice area. Two different computerized simulation cases begin in the emergency department with two reproductive-age women presenting with abdominal pain and a positive pregnancy test. Participants are given an outline of learning objectives and gain more points by timely and appropriate management strategies to appropriately diagnose, manage, and treat each simulated patient. Immediate computerized feedback occurs during their management choices, a score for the management of the case is produced, and the log of actions taken is printed and reviewed with the faculty supervisor. During the evaluation, resources are available within the program to get help with the management decisions. This resource allows learners to experience evaluation and management strategies for ectopic pregnancy outside of a patient encounter. The tool was used with six learners (residents and medical students) during its trial. On an evaluation survey, the learners unanimously agreed the exercises were “definitely worthwhile” and resulted in them being “more prepared.” The cases were felt to be “very” or “pretty much realistic.” Five of six participants felt that the case stimulated them to read further on the topic.

Educational Objectives

By the end of these simulations, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe the known risk factors and suspected etiologies of ectopic pregnancy.
  2. Demonstrate the appropriate and early diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to decide which treatment options are most appropriate for each clinical scenario.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the side effects of each treatment modality and of appropriate clinical follow-up.

Author Information

  • Brenda Houmard, PhD, MD: University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Howard Schwid, MD: University of Washington

Dr. Howard Schwid is a consultant to Anesoft Corporation, the company that sells the Obstetrics Simulator. The case data files are available for free at the Anesoft website.

None to report.


Houmard B, Schwid H. Computerized simulation of the acute management of ectopic pregnancy. MedEdPORTAL. 2011;7:8430. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.8430