From the makers of Healing Blade (which we covered back in 2010), comes a new card game by Nerdcore Medical that is intended to be a study aide for individuals serious about learning the secrets of successful diagnosis. Occam’s Razor is marketed towards medical students, nursing students, and medical professionals that wish to practice their hand at matching symptoms to diagnoses. According to the company, the cards can be used to play several classic games, depending on prior experience and group size, including Gin Rummy Occam, Deduce the Disease, Occam Solitaire, and Spoons.
The games feature 14 different diseases, and operate on the principles of Occam’s Razor and Hickam’s Dictum: that the simplest explanation is usually correct, and that patients can have as many diseases as they please (respectively). The game features diagnosis cards, sporting symptom lists pertaining to specific diagnoses, and symptom cards, which are randomly collected and used to deduce what disease(s) the fictional patients are suffering from. The symptoms and respective diagnoses were designed by Drs. Arun and Zeeba Mathews, while the game aspect was created by game designer Brandon Patton.
From the press release:
“Teachers are increasingly turning to “serious games” to enrich and motivate learning. “There is so much rote memorization in medical school,” says Dr. Arun Mathews, co-founder of the company. “When I was a student I was desperate for any alternatives. Research shows that students learn better when they are doing something they enjoy. With Occam’s Razor, students can absorb medical knowledge in a much more entertaining fashion. They can also study together, and use the game to compete or show off their hard work.” In Occam’s Razor, up to six players try to collect enough symptom cards to support a diagnosis. A patient walks in with a fever, and painful, swollen joints. A lab test shows elevated ESR. Is it Arthritis? (Rheumatoid or Septic?) Is it Gout? Players need to find an additional symptom to narrow it down. The more unique symptoms, the more certain the diagnosis, and the higher the score. The game can also be played in solitaire mode, or adjusted for players with no previous medical knowledge.”
Product page: Occam’s Razor…
News release: DOCTORS INVENT CARD GAME TO TEACH DIAGNOSIS