[Skip to Navigation]
Special Communication
September 1, 1999

Simulation Technology for Health Care Professional Skills Training and Assessment

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Center for Research in Medical Education, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Fla (Drs Issenberg and Mayer); Office of Medical Education, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill (Dr McGaghie); University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario (Dr Hart); Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Felner); Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC (Drs Petrusa and Waugh); Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Iowa City (Dr Brown); Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla (Dr Safford); Division of Pediatric Cardiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville (Dr Gessner); University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson (Dr Gordon); and Section of Cardiology, Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson (Dr Ewy).

JAMA. 1999;282(9):861-866. doi:10.1001/jama.282.9.861

Changes in medical practice that limit instruction time and patient availability, the expanding options for diagnosis and management, and advances in technology are contributing to greater use of simulation technology in medical education. Four areas of high-technology simulations currently being used are laparoscopic techniques, which provide surgeons with an opportunity to enhance their motor skills without risk to patients; a cardiovascular disease simulator, which can be used to simulate cardiac conditions; multimedia computer systems, which includes patient-centered, case-based programs that constitute a generalist curriculum in cardiology; and anesthesia simulators, which have controlled responses that vary according to numerous possible scenarios. Some benefits of simulation technology include improvements in certain surgical technical skills, in cardiovascular examination skills, and in acquisition and retention of knowledge compared with traditional lectures. These systems help to address the problem of poor skills training and proficiency and may provide a method for physicians to become self-directed lifelong learners.