Interdisciplinary Simulation in Medical Education a Novel Educational Technique for Managing Challenging Clinical Encounters

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Presenting Author(s): Amber Barlow, Dr. Paige Durling, MD, Dr. Rachel Grimminck, MD, FRCPC, DABPN, Dr. Dean Mrozowich, Dr. Joanna Rankin, PhD

Date and time: 23 Mar 2019 from 13:30 to 14:10

Location: Wildrose Salon C  Floor Map


  1. By the end of this session, participants will be able to explain how simulation can be incorporated into medical education to promote higher levels of learning and learner wellness;
  2. By the end of this session, participants will be able to describe how interdisciplinary simulation can promote collaboration and enhance patient care; and
  3. By the end of this session, participants will be able to relate challenges in the design and delivery of medical education for agitation and difficult clinical encounters through simulation.

Literature References

  1. Abdool, PS et al. (2017) Simulation in Undergraduate Psychiatry: Exploring the Depth of Learner Engagement. Acad Psychiatry
  2. Cioffi, J et al. (2005). A Pilot Study to Investigate the Effects of a Simulation Strategy on the Clinical Decision Making of Midwifery
    students. Journal of Nursing Education. 44(3), 131-4.
  3. Cook, D et al. (2011) Technology-Enhanced Simulation for Health Professions Education; A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.
    JAMA. 306(9):978-988
  4. Feinstein, RE. (2014) Violence Prevention Education Program for Psychiatric Outpatient Departments. Acad Psychiatry 38:639–646
  5. Foster, A. et al. (2015) The Use of Simulation to Teach Suicide Risk Assessment to Health Profession Trainees—Rationale,
    Methodology, and a Proof of Concept Demonstration with a Virtual Patient. Acad Psychiatry 39:620–629
  6. McNaughton, N et al. Psychiatric Education and Simulation: A Review of the Literature. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Vol 53,
    No 2, February 2008
  7. Pheister, M et al. (2017) Simulated Patients and Scenarios to Assess and Teach Psychiatry Residents. Acad Psychiatry 41:114–117
  8. Thomson, AB et al. (2013) How we developed an emergency psychiatry training course for new residents using principles of highfidelity simulation. Medical Teacher 35: 797–800
  9. Vestal, HS et al. (2017) Simulation-Based Training for Residents in the Management of Acute Agitation: A Cluster Randomized
    Controlled Trial. Acad Psychiatry 41:62–67


Simulation training is widely used in other health care disciplines at the University of Calgary, however, there has been limited use in
the Department of Psychiatry and Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies (CRDS). Simulations offer the advantages of allowing
a trainee to improve core skills in a controlled and safe but realistic setting by focusing on skills, knowledge and attitude while
minimizing any potential risk to patients (Pheister et al., 2017). Observed simulations create a learning environment promoting selfreflection, critical self-appraisal and improved clinical decision making skills (Abdool et al. 2017; Cioffi et al., 2005; Cook et al., 2011;
Foster et al., 2015; McNaughton et al., 2008)

In recent years, there has been an increased emphasis on patient and staff safety to reduce the number of aggressive incidents in
hospital and community settings. Simulation is the ideal teaching modality for rare occurrences such as a aggressive incidents, suicide
attempt on the unit/group home or sexual boundary violations. Classically, these are unlikely to present in a manner that allows for
observation to ensure the learner is practicing safely, thus making simulations an ideal teaching modality (Thomson et al., 2013; Vestal
et al., 2017).

During this session, we will review the current literature on the use of simulation in mental health and disability populations, describe our
interdisciplinary simulation interventions for psychiatry residents and CRDS students, and share evaluation outcomes of the intervention
as well as future directions for simulation at the Cumming School of Medicine in mental health and disability populations.


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