Since partnering with NorthShore University Healthsystem in 2009, Emergency Medical Simulation has become an integral part of resident education. The Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation, GCSI, is a 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.
For a resident to become a competent and confident physician, they need to master multiple skills over the course of training. Beginning with intern year, every resident at the University of Chicago experiences resuscitation and performs procedures in the emergency department; however, as with all residency programs, rare procedures and presentations are not always equally distributed. Simulation allows residents to practice rare, but critical procedures and scenarios, so they can be prepared when called upon to treat a critical patient in need.
UChicago uses simulation as a method of providing every trainee the opportunity to practice and perfect less frequent procedures; and to experience, diagnose and properly manage a vast variety of critically ill and injured patients. Simulation allows residents to work as part of a team to manage a patient in real time. Afterwards, residents debrief the case with faculty and the rest of the team and review film of the case. This format provides residents feedback on their communication and choice of interventions so that they can continue to improve their practice.
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.