Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Annals of Medicine

For an Article Collection on

The Role of the Metaverse in Medical Education

Manuscript deadline
15 December 2023

Cover image - Annals of Medicine

Article collection guest advisor(s)

Kadriye O. Lewis, Ed.D, Children's Mercy Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine
[email protected]

Vitaliy Popov, Ph.D, University of Michigan Medical School
[email protected]

The deadline for submitting manuscripts is December 15th, 2023.,

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The Role of the Metaverse in Medical Education

Two decades ago, Friedman (1999) described the concept of the ‘‘marvelous medical education machine’’ or how medical education can gradually be “unstuck” in space, time, and content through appropriate use of technology. With the advent of the metaverse, marvelous medical education machine is now becoming a reality. Metaverse is a combination of “meta” and “universe” which describes a parallel or virtual environment linked to the physical world. The term metaverse was first used in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his science-fiction novel Snow Crash (Tlili et al., 2022). In educational concepts, Metaverse is an umbrella term used to describe all kinds of immersive technologies, including virtual (VR), augmented (AR) or mixed realities (MR), applied to advance teaching and learning practices. A user would typically wear a head-mounted display that blends the physical and digital world that can be explored and interacted with by people using e.g., avatars or virtual representations of themselves.

Application of Metaverse or Meta platforms in medical education offers new technological and pedagogical affordances for the development of healthcare professionals’ competencies ranging from patient care, medical knowledge, procedural training to interprofessional teamwork, diagnostic reasoning, and critical thinking. Here are some examples of how immersive technologies are being used to transform transforming medical education and healthcare. MR technology was used to augment bedside rounds experience as viewed by trainees through an expert’s eyes using a headset device (Salavitabar et al., 2022). This new format enabled teams of learners to interact with patients, peers, and mentors, while simultaneously visualizing the patient’s clinical findings, imaging, and laboratory studies at the bedside. In another study, the research team has developed the multi-user Virtual Reality for Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation application. This application allows four trainees to be in the same ‘virtual room’ and work together to care for a virtual cardiac arrest patient - all under realistic time pressure and rapid workload changes. A systematic understanding of how metaverse applications can leverage their unique affordances to best support procedural training, clinical decision-making skills and teamwork mechanisms, among many others, which is still lacking in medical education.   In brief, while the evolving structure of immersive technologies has real potential in all aspects of health education at all levels, we need to understand how the unique features of metaverse-based teaching and learning can be best employed into learning design and the overall future of healthcare education.

The goal of this Article Collection is to solicit the contribution and submission of manuscripts examining topics about metaverse applications in medical education. We invite both conceptual and empirical contributions on a broad range of topics, including but not limited to:

  • Syntheses of research relating to the effectiveness of metaverse applications to learning processes and outcomes
  • Metaverse ethics to support the development, design, and implementation of XR applications in medical education (e.g., the phenomenon of “human downgrading” as a possible unintended consequence of implementing new technology).
  • Grounding metaverse applications in the learning sciences theories and design principles to support impactful integration of new technologies in medical education
  • Artificial Intelligence and multimodal learning analytics coupled with the power and unique characteristics of metaverse learning environments.
  • Creative educational technology solutions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Critiquing and/or justifying affordances and potential drawbacks of using immersive tools/platforms in medical education curricula and clinical simulation training.
  • Best practices of applying metaverse-type of approaches for attainment of fundamental knowledge (e.g., anatomy) to practicing clinical procedures and team-based simulation training.
  • Use of disciplinary or theoretical perspectives to challenge and/or support the build of metaverse infrastructure specifically for health professions education, including perspective from science and technology studies, learning health sciences, ethics, artificial intelligence, and surveillance studies.
  • Taking stock and looking ahead: metaverse in medical education in the next decade.
  • Connecting metaverse applications with other concepts from health professions education, such as standards, competency-based medical education, entrustable professional activities, feedback, professionalism, diversity, equity,inclusion, assessment and evaluation.

Annals of Medicine accepts the following types of articles:

  • Research Article (systematic/meta-analysis reviews and observational studies)
  • Review Article
  • Clinical Trials
  • Protocols
  • Case Series
  • Commentary

Kadriye O. Lewis, EdD is the Director of Evaluation and Program Development in the Department of Graduate Medical Education at Children's Mercy Hospital and is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. She is also the Medical Education Section Editor of Annals of Medicine Journal. Dr. Lewis is a well-established medical educator with extensive knowledge and experience in program development, instructional design, e-learning, and web-based technologies. She has received many honors for her work in medical education. She is active in medical education research and her scholarly interests are focused on all spectrums of e-learning design, implementation of innovative technologies for curriculum delivery at many levels in healthcare education, including performance-based assessment, and the construction of new assessment tools.

Vitaliy Popov, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School with a courtesy appointment at the U-M School of Information. His research program focuses on understanding how team function can be optimized to lead to better learning gains, performance, and healthcare outcomes. Current research projects are situated at the intersection of Learning Health Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, and eXtended Reality. His research program has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation since 2017 on topics ranging from applying multimodal learning analytics in teamwork in VR to understanding the mechanisms of joint visual attention in the operating room. Dr. Popov completed his Ph.D. on computer-supported collaborative learning at Wageningen University & Research Center, in the Netherlands.

Disclosure Statement: Dr. Lewis and Dr. Popov declare no conflicts of interest regarding this work.

The deadline for submitting manuscripts is December 15th, 2023.

When submitting your article, please select the section, 'Medical Education', and the Special Issue, 'The Role of the Metaverse in Medical Education' from the drop-down menu on the submission system.

Annals of Medicine is an online, open access, international journal publishing across all areas of medicine and is part of our Elevate Series. This means that you will receive a concierge-level publishing experience, including dedicated support from our expert in-house Editorial team, with guaranteed response times of within 48 hours, an initial decision on whether your article will be peer reviewed within 5 working days, and a first decision on your research within an average of 22 working days.

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Submission Instructions

All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo a full peer-review; the Guest Advisor for this collection will not be handling the manuscripts (unless they are an Editorial Board member). Please review the journal scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.  

The deadline for submitting manuscripts is December 15th, 2023.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article

All manuscripts submitted to this Article Collection will undergo desk assessment and peer-review as part of our standard editorial process. Guest Advisors for this collection will not be involved in peer-reviewing manuscripts unless they are an existing member of the Editorial Board. Please review the journal Aims and Scope and author submission instructions prior to submitting a manuscript.