Skip to main content

Gut Games: a Board Game to Integrate Basic and Clinical Sciences for the Classroom

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.


Medical schools are moving away from traditional lectures in favor of small-group learning. Here we present a game-based activity designed to improve student engagement while serving as a course review. The activity incorporated 32 questions submitted by eleven discipline directors. The 133 student participants reviewed the session positively, rating it highest of the 11 course sessions with an overall quality of a 4.68 (± 0.84) out of a 6-point Likert scale. The students remarked that the activity was fun and engaging, yet long. It reviewed a breadth of content over several specialties in a format that encouraged active, team-based learning.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1


  1. Krupat E, Richards JB, Sullivan AM, Fleenor TJ, Shwartzstein RM. Assessing the effectiveness of case-based collaborative learning via randomized controlled trial. Acad Med. 2016;91:723–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Michaelsen LK, Sweet M. The essential elements of team-based learning. New Directions Teach Learn. 2008;116:7–27.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Taylor D, Miflin B. Problem-based learning: where are we now? Med Teach. 2008;30:742–63.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Thistlethwaite JE, Davies D, Ekeocha S, et al. The effectiveness of case-based learning in health professional education. A BEME systematic review: BEME guide no. 23. Med Teach. 2012;34:e421–444

  5. Fares J, Al Tabosh H, Saadeddin Z, El Mouhayyar C, Aridi H. Stress, burnout, and coping strategies in preclinical medical students. N Am J Med Sci. 2016;8:75–81.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bochennek K, Wittekindt B, Zimmerman S, Klingebiel T. More than mere games: a review of card and board games for medical education. Med Teach. 2007;29:941–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Hill RV, Nassrallah Z. A game-based approach to teaching and learning anatomy of the liver and portal venous system. MedEdPORTAL. 2018;14:10696.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Cusick J. A Jeopardy-style review game using team clickers. MedEdPORTAL. 2016;12:10485.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Klatt EC, Klatt CA. How much is too much reading for medical students? Assigned reading and reading rates at one medical school. Acad Med. 2011;86:1079–83.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to thank Virginia Ferrante-Iqbal for her illustration. We would also like to thank Anne Carroll for her assistance in reviewing session evaluations.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



All authors contributed equally to the inception, design, and implementation of the work as well as data collection and evaluation and creation of the manuscript, tables, and figure.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Christopher Ferrigno.

Ethics declarations

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no competing interests

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Katrikh, A.Z., Richards, M.H. & Ferrigno, C. Gut Games: a Board Game to Integrate Basic and Clinical Sciences for the Classroom. Med.Sci.Educ. 31, 1025–1028 (2021).

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Flipped classroom
  • Small group
  • Game-based activity
  • Medical education