April 27, 2022
1 min read
LISBON, Portugal — An escape room at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases offered attendees an opportunity to hone their medical knowledge and attempt to make it out of a sealed room before time expired.
Daniel Grupel, MD, a clinical consultant specializing in infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel, wrote the story to the and its puzzles.
“Basically, [participants] need to solve puzzles in order to find clues to the source of an outbreak and find out a diagnosis in order to decide on treatment,” Grupel told Healio.
Originally, Grupel and colleagues planned to offer attendees the opportunity to participate in the escape room in 2021. However, because the of the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was held virtually, so the escape room was, too.
“You had to find out the disease someone had by hacking into their [fictional] Facebook account and their email account, and checking out their Twitter, and looking where they were and what kind of rash they had,” he said.
Although Grupel wrote the story behind the escape room, he did not build it. He credits his team members for the most challenging part of the process.
“The most difficult part was to build this physically because we’re not working in the escape room game industry,” Grupel said. “Trying to figure out how to create these puzzles and how to stay connected to the backstory — because the purpose is not just to have fun, although it is a lot of fun — that was a challenge.”
This year’s medical-oriented escape room gave physicians an opportunity to learn in an interactive way.
“I think that we’re trying to give an example of how we can improve medical education by using games in order to learn things,” he said.
The virtual escape room from 2021 remains available online. It begins: “A patient has been brought in during your shift. They mention that he has been picked up as he collapsed at the airport. You try to talk to him, but unfortunately get no response.”