Use of Simulations and Simulators in Medical Training

Presented by Sheila Chauvin & John Szarek on March 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

Over the past few years simulation and simulator technology has experienced an exponential growth worldwide. Until recently, simulation, especially using human patient simulators, has been the provenance of clinical educators in the education of students in their clinical years. Simulation is becoming increasingly common in the pre-clinical years. In addition to using simulation early in medical school training for clinical procedures and skills, it is increasingly being used to support teaching and learning the basic sciences. Based on the results of a recent national survey of allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, we will discuss the current state of basic science education and the use of human patient simulators to enhance students’ learning. We will describe how the use of human patient simulators has been implemented in medical school preclinical curricula including barriers encountered and strategies for dealing with them. The session will include specific curricular examples and a discussion of the educational benefits of using human patient simulators in basic science education.

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Presenter Bios

Sheila ChauvinDr. Sheila Chauvin is founding Director of the Office of Medical Education Research and Development, founding Director of the Academy for the Advancement of Educational Scholarship, and tenured Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, and in the Behavioral and Community Health Sciences Program, School of Public Health, at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. She has 35 years of professional experience and is well-known for her expertise and achievements in educational research, teaching/learning effectiveness, faculty development, curriculum and educational program development, development and implementation of assessment and evaluation systems, educational leadership and change processes. Dr. Chauvin has worked with colleagues at LSUHSC and at a variety of medical schools to enhance teaching and education and to create programs and activities that foster faculty development and educational scholarship. Colleagues often described Dr. Chauvin as a teacher of teachers and an effective mentor. They cite her leadership effectiveness and adept skills for facilitating innovation, collaboration, and successful change and improvement processes. More recently, Dr. Chauvin was principal investigator for an AHRQ-funded study targeting simulation-based operating room teamwork training at the point of care. She works extensively with faculty in designing and evaluating simulation-based training across the medical education continuum. She is also Chair of the statewide Medical Simulation Training and


John SzarekDr. John L. Szarek is Professor of Pharmacology in the Department of Basic Sciences and Director of Clinical Pharmacology at The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) in Scranton PA.  He also serves as the Education Director for Simulation at the school and is currently interim chair of the Department of Basic Science. Dr. Szarek received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, a B.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Illinois Chicago College of Pharmacy, and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana. Prior to joining the TCMC faculty, Dr. Szarek spent 16 years on the faculty at Marshall University School of Medicine where he was actively involved in scientific research which resulted in numerous articles. He spent 5 years in Dominica as the Chair of Pharmacology at Ross University School of Medicine. There he started and ran the simulation program for the second year medical students. Dr. Szarek came to TCMC from A. T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona where he was Professor of Pharmacology and Director of Human Simulation. Dr. Szarek has participated in many workshops on teaching and learning including two sponsored by the Harvard Macy Institute. His interests focus on the use of technology in medical education and students’ emotions during learning. He has conducted workshops for medical school faculty on the local and national level on several topics including facilitating small group sessions, the use of simulation in medical education, question writing, and presentation skills.