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Medical News & Perspectives
November 25, 2009

Medical Simulation Gets Real

JAMA. 2009;302(20):2190-2192. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1677

Last winter, before the drama of health system reform took on nearly Shakespearean proportions, Democrats and Republicans managed to agree on at least one legislative objective that aims to improve patient safety, medical education, and clinical skill.

The proposals—a bill in the House, HR 855, and its same-language companion in the Senate, S 616—are not a formal part of Congress's massive reform effort. But they attracted 18 bipartisan co-sponsors in asking Congress to increase federal funding for medical simulation techniques in academic medical centers and other clinical settings. Emerging research shows that simulation is a valuable training tool that, in some applications, can improve patient outcomes.