Emergent Medical Simulation

Since partnering with Northshore University Healthsystem in 2009, Emergent Medical Simulation has become an integral part of resident education. The Northshore Center for Simulation and Innovation, NCSI, is directed by renowned faculty including Dr. Ernest Wang and Dr. Morris Kharasch, and has recently opened a new 12,000 square foot state-of-the-art training center in Evanston Hospital, which houses 7 individual simulation rooms, 2 conference rooms, and a fully equipped operating wet lab, capable of conducting 12 simultaneous laparoscopic operations.

Conceptually, for a resident to become a competent and confident physician, he or she needs to master multiple skills over the course of training. Beginning with the intern year every resident at the University of Chicago experiences resuscitation and procedure performance in the emergency department; however, as with all residency programs, the number of or subtle differences in patients, which may complicate an individual case, cannot be standardized in to a curriculum. Therefore it is ideal to have a method of providing every trainee the opportunity to practice and perfect all of the less frequent procedures; and to experience, diagnose and properly manage a vast variety of critically ill and injured patients. Medical simulation fills this role perfectly. Simulation allows the resident to manage a patient with a care team in real time; then debrief with faculty and the rest of the team and review film of the case; and finally to learn from their errors again in the same day.

Once monthly, typical educational conference didactics are replaced by focused simulation sessions, where residents direct medical, pediatric, obstetric, and traumatic resuscitations as well as learn and perfect medical procedures. The current curriculum module guides the monthly topics for the cases, and cases are typically adapted from real life experiences of faculty physicians.

Simulation education at University of Chicago is not just meant to supplement didactic curriculum. Our goal is to reinforce basic principles, enhance clinical experience, broaden the array of procedural skills, and allow residents to develop leadership and decision making skills. All of this is successfully done in an arena that is free of patient risk, but rich in resident reward.