If you are a medical student or doctor, or if you know someone within the medical profession, you will know that medics are required to learn a vast amount of medical terminology, with the expectation to recall any part of it in a heartbeat under stressful situations. However, the learning process can often be overwhelming and boring – who really enjoys learning the pharmacodynamics of hundreds of drugs? – with students and doctors alike hunched over thick, dull textbooks at a desk. Here at Synap, we are all about making learning engaging and we ask: why can’t learning medical terminology be fun?
To address this issue for potentially thousands of medics, Dr. Neha Shah, a qualified doctor based in London, has developed an exciting new game called Meducational. Meducational is a fast paced, interactive card game in which medical students and doctors can test their knowledge, by describing as many words as possible from different medical categories in just one minute. We think Meducational is a great idea for medics to test themselves in a fun, competitive manner with an opportunity to share and learn knowledge from each other.
Meducational has launched on Kickstarter to gain support for the project and we recently caught up with Dr. Neha Shah to find out more about this thrilling game and how it came about.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do. I understand you’re a practicing doctor at the moment, what is it you specialise in?
I am currently an Obstetric and Gynaecology Junior Registrar, training in the North Central and East London Deanery.
2. What inspired you to start Meducational?
As a medical student, I felt inundated with the countless facts that I needed to learn. Last year, I was at a friend’s dinner party and a group of us were enjoying playing some card and board games. It was then that I thought about creating a card game which would make the process of learning these facts more enjoyable. That’s how Meducational was created.
3. Are you working with anyone else to get the project done?
My husband, Amit Thakrar, has helped with the design work for the game. He’s a core surgical trainee with an IT background and we’re both equally nerdy so it works well! My younger sister, Priyanka Shah, is a medical student and musician. She’s in the process of recording some music (piano and vocals) for Meducationals’ promotional video.
4. What has been your major challenge so far?
I would say, advertising the game has been my main challenge to date.
5. How has the response to crowd funding been so far? Is it what you expected, more, less?
The response has been great. We’ve raised over £700 towards the game so far and hoping it will reach £1000 by the end of the crowd funding campaign.
After the crowd funding campaign is over, we are planning to sell the game on eBay and Amazon and hopefully have it stocked in some shops.
6. Why should medical students / doctors use Meducational?
Medical students and doctors are expected to accumulate vast volumes of knowledge and be able to recall this information quickly. Meducational will put your medical knowledge to the test in an environment that’s fast paced and fun! The game has been tried out by both medical students and doctors and has proven to be both fun and educational.
7. Have you always had an interest in medical education / ‘innovation’?
Yes, absolutely! As a medical student, I was the co-founder for the Guys and St Thomas (GSTT) Hospital app, “BleepPod” which provides easy and quick access to hospital bleep and extension numbers and allows you to directly call these numbers from your phone. This project was one of the winners of the GSTT Dragons Den.
I’m currently involved in co-ordinating the Obstetrics and Gynaecology medical students at Barnet Hospital and running their mock OSCE.
My colleague and I run yearly interview courses for doctors applying to Obstetrics and Gynaecology training. The course has been overbooked each year and we have had excellent feedback and a high success rate.
We have recently published an Obstetrics and Gynaecology ST1 Interview preparation book which has sold more than 100 copies.
8. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years if the project goes really well?
I’m quite keen to develop the medical education gaming business further. It’s such a great way to learn. I have some ideas about new medical games that I’m hoping to start designing and producing soon.
With Christmas quickly approaching, Meducational is an ideal gift for a friend or loved one within the medical profession! For a pledge of just £8 (or £15 for two sets of cards at a discounted price), you are guaranteed to receive a pack of playing cards in advance of the Christmas holidays. As a novel idea combining the interest of medical knowledge and necessity to learn it in a fun and competitive manner, this is guaranteed to be a well-received gift!
To find out more about the 6 categories of Meducational cards, to order a pack of cards or find out how you can support this project, please visit Neha’s campaign here. Synap will be supporting the campaign by purchasing 50 sets of cards to give out at future events (and to play with when we’re bored!)
Also published on Medium.