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Yale Center for Medical Simulation Mission

The mission of the Yale Center for Medical Simulation (YCMS) is to provide excellent patient care through innovative medical education, assessment, research and outreach. Our state-of-the-art center promotes the acquisition of basic and advanced clinical skills that are essential for medical students and residents to master, and are integral to the educational mission of Yale School of Medicine. It provides an ideal learning environment for supervised and independent practice. YCMS contributes to the medical school’s research mission by identifying more effective educational methods and evaluation tools. The Center is available to all members of the Yale School of Medicine community for educational research opportunities.

Facilities and Procedures

Yale Center for Medical Simulation uses mannequin-based fully interactive simulators in the fields of emergency medicine, surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, neurology, anesthesia and other clinical settings. The facility occupies 4,950 square feet and contain replicas of an ED/ICU/ward, trauma resuscitation bay, pediatric/newborn unit and operating room. Simulation scenarios include critical actions in both clinical management and communication skills. Dedicated simulation faculty with expertise in scenario design and debriefing skills guide students through scenarios. Students have the opportunity to address end of life issues, informed consent, and disclosure of medical errors. Each simulation room allows for sophisticated video recording to enable participants to have the opportunity to reflect on their performance in an interactive debriefing session following the simulation scenario. The center has a conference room and debriefing room designed to encourage reflection and feedback.

Students learn a wide range of invasive procedures from insertion of IVs, nasogastric tubes and urinary catheters to more advanced procedures such as central venous catheter insertion, chest tube insertion, and difficult airway management. Bedside ultrasound simulators assist students in developing technical skills as well as learning how to interpret point-of-care ultrasounds. Partial task trainers allow the acquisition of these technical skills prior to entering the clinical setting thus increasing patient safety.

Educational Research

The Yale Center for Medical Simulation offers the opportunity to advance knowledge through educational research. All members of the Yale medical community have access to the simulation lab for research purposes. Current research projects include the transfer of invasive procedural skills from the simulation lab to the clinical setting, skills decay, live tissue vs simulator training for invasive procedures, development of communication and leadership skills during acute resuscitations.

A former Yale medical student best described the goals of simulation when he wrote about his experience during the third year clinical simulation course: “I could go on and on about how much I learned from this ten minute SimMan scenario. But, in short, I found it to be one of the most powerful experiences in medical school thus far. I learned the absolute necessity of leadership, communication, and accountability during a crisis…I had the privilege to feel what it’s like to have to think quickly and critically under the pressure of an unstable patient, as well as experiencing a team that needs a leader to guide proper management. I now appreciate how important it is to be confident in the team, and balance that with the appropriate leadership to make certain that tasks are getting done correctly. I’d rather be safe than sorry. I am so thankful that I was able to learn this valuable lesson in a simulation laboratory rather than at the bedside of an unstable patient, whose chance of survival depends on the critical actions of a well-trained physician. Students are rarely, if ever, given the opportunity to lead a team, be accountable for every decision made in managing a patient, and learn what it feels like to make a mistake you never want to happen again.”