Posted: March 31, 2020

Essentials in Clinical Simulations


Students complete the Coursera course, Essentials in Clinical Simulation Across the Health Professions, and review two brief videos we have used for faculty development in building simulation scenarios. The course consists of 7 modules and each are 2 to 3 hours long. Templates are provided for building an SP scenario or a simulation laboratory scenario. This was built as a two week M4 elective, so to define objectives student's are asked to reflect on clerkships and determine what they felt was missing or could have been added/emphasized more through a simulation. They are given the option of building a standardized patient encounter or a simulation lab scenario with human patient simulators (HPS). Using these defined objectives, they are expected to design a simulation scenario or a standardized patient brief in the templates provided. They are also given templates to complete facilitator guides and tech guides in order to ensure all needs and logistics are accounted for (SP moulage, room set up, technical needs, equipment needs, vital sign changes depending on actions taken or not taken, diagnostic results, etc.). This requires them to consider presentation (likely history, epidemiology, setting, course, physical exam findings, etc.) of the patient and all the potential branching points that could occur in the scenario depending on the questions asked or actions taken. Students are encouraged to do include evidence when building their design and to list references - what is the likely age, presentation, background of this patient; what is the likely response to treatment; what types of information is the patient only likely to give if certain communication skills are used. Students are also expected to tie at least one assessment to their scenario. Multiple peer reviewed options are provided as assessment templates and examples. For the final project students are expected to submit all files and "virtually" pilot their scenario as faculty and learner switch roles; done mostly by talking through the encounter if HPS scenario is chosen. The pilot ends with a debrief done by the student as they take on the role of the facilitator, followed by a debrief of the project with the faculty as they move back into the faculty role. Working with clerkship directors, these scenarios can be further developed for use in the future to fill perceived gaps. A One Drive folder is provided that has the syllabus, schedule and faculty development resources we used (links to recording & template files).


Caroline Abercrombie, MD, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine
Patti Amadio, MD, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine
Perry Butler, SP Manager, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine
Andy Berry, EMT-P, Simulation Manager, ETSU Quillen College of Medicine


Learner Audience

Undergraduate Medical Education (UME)


Medical Knowledge

Resource Type(s)

Distance Learning - Asynchronous
Written or Visual Media (or DigitalEquivalent)
Educational Technology

Instructional Method(s)

Independent Learning
Case-Based Instruction/Learning
Role Play/Dramatization


Management, Education, Standardized Patient, Reflection, Continuing Education, Critical Thinking, Treatment, Patient Presentation, Debrief, Simulation Design