Characteristics of Simulation Activities at North American Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals: An AAMC-SSH-ASPE-AACN Collaboration

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Summary Statement

In September 2011, the Association of American Medical Colleges released the results of a survey conducted in 2010 on simulation activities at its member medical schools and teaching hospitals. In this commentary, we offer a synthesis of data and conclude that (1) simulation is used broadly at Association of American Medical Colleges member institutions, for many types of learners, including other health care professionals; (2) it addresses core training competencies and has many educational purposes; (3) its use in learner assessment is more prevalent at medical schools but is still significant at teaching hospitals; and (4) it requires a considerable investment of money, space, personnel, and time. These data confirm general perceptions about the state of simulation in North America for physician training. Future endeavors should include a more granular examination of how simulation is integrated into curricula, a similar survey of other health care–related institutions and professions, and a periodic assessment to characterize trends over time.

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