MEdSim Magazine and the University of South Florida’s Center for Advanced Medical Simulation and Learning (CAMLS) sponsored a two-day conference in February that focused on five critical challenges facing medical education and training:

  • Faculty development and retention.
  • Hospital organization.
  • Competency based training and practice.
  • Breaking down silos.
  • Valid assessment tools for technical and non-technical skills.
J. Schaefer lll. Director of HealthCare Simulation of South Carolina described the process the group's founders took in establishing this state-wide collaboration.
J. Schaefer lll. Director of HealthCare Simulation of South Carolina described the process the group's founders took in establishing this state-wide collaboration.

Program speakers and working groups addressed these challenges that participants identified through a survey prior to attending the conference.

In welcoming the group to CAMLS, CEO Deborah Sutherland, PhD, described the design, purpose and structure of the simulation center and explained that it follows an Academic Entrepreneurial Model – meaning that while it receives funds to help run the center, it is set up like a sustainable business to help cover the remainder of its expenses. So in addition to serving all of the University of South Florida’s needs, CAMLS is prepared to make its facility and services available to specialty societies, hospitals and healthcare systems, medical device companies, insurance companies and many others.

Andy Smith, Publisher and CEO of Halldale Group, which publishes MEdSim, talked about Halldale’s 20-year history and involvement in training through simulation, first with publications for the defense and aviation industries, and most recently for medicine with the launch of MEdSim three years ago. He explained how Halldale has been instrumental in identifying and addressing education and training challenges in the other industries, and established the MEdSim/CAMLS meeting to help do the same for the medical industry.

To help get the groups started in addressing the challenges, a series of speakers talked about their centers and thoughts on the future of healthcare education and training. John Schaefer, III, MD, Director of HealthCare Simulation of South Carolina (HCSSC) described the process the group’s founders took in establishing this state-wide collaborative – and how and why it works. Stuart Hart, MD., the Director of CAMLS Technology and Innovation Center, talked about projects and initiatives the center is involved in – such as medical device validation studies. Jan Cannon-Bower, PhD, Director of Research at CAMLS explained how the facility uses an Evidence-Based Best Practice approach to its educational planning process and how and why it is a good model for CAMLS. Rajesh Aggarwal, MD, PhD, currently a gastrointestinal surgeon and instructor, University of Pennsylvania and soon-to-be the simulation director for McGill University’s medical school, talked about surgical education in resident programs, a Value-Based Model for surgical education and a new course design he is developing with colleagues. Howard Champion, MD, founder and CEO of SIMQUEST, discussed where surgical education and training currently stands and where it needs to go.   Roger, Smith, PhD, and Chief Technology Officer for Florida Hospital’s Nicholson Center gave an overview of the goals of the Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery curriculum development, steps taken, including the development of a skills trainer for psychomotor testing and the inclusion of all surgical societies that wished to participate in the development of the basic curriculum, the skills trainer and the validation study to be conducted this year.

In the afternoon of day one, attendees participated in self-selected working groups to address the five challenges. All of the groups had assigned leaders and were tasked with establishing goals and developing steps to accomplish those goals. The groups met again on day two, and each group gave a report on their accomplishments and next steps to the conference participants before the conference adjourned. All of the groups – and their members – committed to meet on an ongoing basis to help make strides in addressing the critical challenges. Each group will be able to add new members who provide a special capability that group needs and they all will reconvene and make progress reports at the HEATT Conference in August in Orlando.

On the second day, three more speakers discussed their thoughts and experiences in the issues facing simulation in healthcare education and medical training. John Armstrong, MD, Florida’s Surgeon General talked about the economic and healthcare capabilities Florida offers and said that simulation is the bridge between undergraduate, graduate and continuing education. Richard Satava, MD, Professor Emeritus of Surgery at the University of Washington, reviewed the five challenges and paths to overcoming them, and gave a brief look at the future of medical education and training. Jeff Berkley, CEO of MIMIC Technologies, Inc. talked about the challenges and opportunities of simulation in robotic surgery and how to achieve proficiency in surgical training.

Editor’s note: The CAMLS conference took place right before this issue of MEdSim went to print. MEdSim Issue3, 2014 will include an in-depth conference report.