The Yale School of Medicine is home to the largest medical student curriculum of its kind in the country, and is entering its 10th year. Yale medical students have the opportunity to practice the art and science of medicine at the Yale Center for Medical Simulation (YCMS) from the first week of medical school. All one-hundred incoming first year students participate in the Introduction to the Professions course at YCMS, where they have their first opportunity to participate in a simulated patient encounter early on in their medical training.
During their clerkship year, students participate in simulation sessions during the Surgery-Emergency Medicine, OBGYN-Pediatrics, Medicine-Neurology and Psychiatry-Primary Care combined clerkships. Students work in teams to evaluate, manage and treat simulated patients in an acute care environment. Our simulations emphasize clinical management, communication with patients and families, and hand-offs to consultants. In addition to performing an H+P and ordering any tests or interventions, patients speak to physician actors that serve as family members, and have a discussion with an actual attending consultant for each case. During the debriefing session, a debriefer offers formative feedback to students on their performance and helps students to bridge what was learned in the session to their future patient encounters. An attending physician with expertise in the topic serves as the content expert for the case and discusses clinical management.
During the third year simulation curriculum, students participate in over 30 simulated encounters and have the opportunity to diagnose and treat a wide variety of pathology. Students also have the opportunity to engage in difficult conversations with simulated patients and family members. They manage critically ill simulated patients and perform life-saving procedures.
Prior to starting their clinical clerkships, all one-hundred third year students are trained in: foley catheter placement, nasogastric intubation and bag-valve mask ventilation at YCMS. During specialty-specific precede sessions for Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Medicine and Neurology, students learn and practice important procedures, such as: orotracheal intubation, suturing, IV placement, FAST exams, ABG sampling, lumbar puncture. A scrub station allows students to practice scrubbing in for the operating room. Students also practice normal and complicated vaginal deliveries and management of OB/GYN emergencies using high-fidelity mannequins during the OB/GYN clerkship.
Students undergoing the YSM Emergency Medicine Sub-Internship also participate in an EM-based simulation curriculum at YCMS.
A 2-4 week simulation elective is available to interested MS4/5's. This elective allows students to create and program simulation cases on the SimMan3G programming software, have the opportunity to serve as a participant, actor, or the voice of the simulated patient for other medical student simulations, and to have guided practice on procedures related to their chosen specialty. During the Medical Education elective, PGY4/5's also have the opportunity to create and run simulated cases and to learn and practice debriefing.
Motivated students also have the opportunity to participate in a number of ongoing research projects under the mentorship of YCMS faculty. Projects result in publication-quality manuscripts and are encouraged for submission to local, regional or national meetings.