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Table 1 Student responses before and after the computer simulation, to the question: ‘If a very rare condition has a prevalence of 1/10,000, how many cases will your graduating class see in the first year of practice?’

From: Career-computer simulation increases perceived importance of learning about rare diseases

Number of Expected Cases Number and (Relative Percentage) of Respondents
Before Simulation After Simulation
0 to 5 35 (39.3%) 7 (9.1%)
6 to 9 16 (18.0%) 6 (7.8%)
10 to 14 20 (22.5%) 17 (22.1%)
15 to 19 15 (16.9%) 25 (32.5%)
20 to 25 3 (3.4%) 22 (28.6%)
Total 89 (100%) 77 (100%)
  1. The calculated correct answer from the simulation was ‘13’, and there was no significant change in the relative percentage of students selecting the answer in the correct range. Of more interest, however, was that after the computer simulation, students displayed clear tendency to over-, rather than under-estimate, the number of patients the cohort would encounter in the first year of practice (p < 0.0001, Chi squared test grouping results for ‘0 to 5’ and ‘6 to 9’, and comparing with grouped results for ‘10 to 14’, ‘15 to 19’, and ‘20 to 25’)