Lift was developed by Clinical Tools, Inc (CTI) with funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Grant #1 R43 AA026474-01). We gratefully acknowledge this support, which was the sole funding source for this project’s development.
Why is it called Lift?
We are a positive, optimistic organization that emphasizes health and potential and pushes solutions, not despair and hopelessness. Terms like burnout and resilience imply a crushing weight that either you cannot handle or for which you must build up defenses. Such elements look like they are external and potentially out of your control, furthering the sense of despair and leading to learned helplessness and depression.
We reject that view. We propose solutions that lift health care providers up, empower them, and build upon their existing strengths, talents, and experience. In the end, if those efforts reduce despair, burnout, depersonalization, career regret, or depression, that’s great. But we reject the notion that an emphasis on reducing despair, burnout, depersonalization, career regret, or depression is the right strategy.
We can all start with who we are, build upon that, and lift ourselves, our colleagues, and the healthcare profession up.
Up to half of medical students experience burnout and one in ten experience suicidal ideation. Students may employ coping skills in order to decrease stress or learn to tolerate it. These skills play an important role in preventing and reducing burnout in medical students. Coping mechanisms may be beneficial, harmful, or some combination of the two. Some less healthy coping mechanisms may offer short-term gains, but later become harmful. Sometimes associated harms may not be recognized. While there are some supports available to help build resilience and prevent burnout through the students’ medical schools, burnout and related symptoms continue to be a problem. Medicine needs a scalable, reproducible, comprehensive, standardized solution.
Our unique immersive role-playing sim follows evidence-based interventions delivered in an engaging narrative, and an attractive environment to provide:
- an experience tailored to the general and specific needs and capability of the future or current medical student,
- choice, exploration, challenge, reflection, curated resources, and intrinsic motivation,
- decision-making opportunities (quick, medium, and slow) with clear consequences,
- an opportunity to learn from simulated outcomes plus tailored feedback and positive rewards
To deepen understanding, medical students explore and navigate the learning environment to identify factors and strategies relevant to them. Exploration puts the user in control of the Lift experience and leads to increased learning and understanding. Control, self-expression, and creativity support a focus on intrinsic motivation. In our role-playing narrative, the medical student navigates spaces including clinical settings. The experience components (challenges, co-users, strength, feedback, and development) mirror elements of an entertainment-focused game. Similarly, users struggle with and conquer challenges, level up, and master skills.
As users progress, their avatar experiences causes of success and frustration (e.g., challenges, ethical dilemmas, demands, poor personal health, sleep disturbance, poor life balance, negative feedback). The sim enhances longer-term decisions, required for behavioral change by letting medical students:
- identify attitudes and perspectives that impact poor choices (e.g., unrealistic expectations),
- prioritize activities that establish balance (leaving aside time for rewarding aspects of life),
- examine decisions and their impact (e.g, sacrificing sleep)
No Industry Support
All materials on this website were developed in an industry-fund-free environment. No industry funding was used to create this website or the simulation experience.
Clinical Tools, and its gaming division Health Impact Studio, strives to share knowledge gained through the testing and use of its products. You can see our latest conference presentations, as well as our published research articles, at the Health Impact Studio site.
During our continued development, we will be focusing Lift on simulating the pressures one might experience during medical school . Through these simulated experiences, medical students can learn coping mechanisms to overcome and address these sources of stress and help avoid situations that might lead to burnout.
After completion of the project, we envision that Lift will be sold to groups such as student health and wellness centers within the university system, providing a digital support tool for medical students entering and continuing their medical school education.