There is a strong national and international shift toward experiential learning in medical education. Simulation facilitates experiential learning through immersion, feedback, reflection, and practice. The Department of Emergency Medicine has offered a robust simulation program for over 10 years.

Simulation is a core component of the resident didactic curriculum. Each July, new interns complete an intensive introductory simulation curriculum, which gives them an opportunity to leave the observer mind-set of the medical student and fully embrace the pressure and challenges of making rapid life and death decisions in the management of critically ill patients. These simulation experiences also promote self-directed learning, a discipline that interns must incorporate early in their practice as they encounter challenging clinical scenarios.

On the second Tuesday of every month, residents attend “Super Tuesday.” This is a morning dedicated to experiential and case-based learning. Residents engage in several large-scale, high-fidelity simulations designed to sharpen their cognitive and technical skills while also improving teamwork and communication. They also participate in an airway station and a procedural station to further enhance their hands-on learning experience. “Super Tuesday” is one of the highest rated educational sessions in the residency.

Residents also have the opportunity to develop their teaching skills through simulation. The Department of Emergency Medicine offers several month-long clinical courses for Vanderbilt medical students, each with a simulation-based didactic component. Residents can assume the role of educator by leading one or more medical student simulation sessions and receive feedback on their teaching techniques from a simulation faculty member.

The simulation program is based at the Vanderbilt Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (CELA), an 11,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility housed on two floors. One of the floors can be transformed into a simulated 6-bed emergency department with adjacent training spaces available for simultaneous simulation events. The facility houses 12 high-fidelity mannequins and multiple partial-task trainers. Each simulation session is staffed with nurse actors and technical engineers. Trained actors are also available to fill in other roles integral to specific simulation scenarios. The Department of Emergency Medicine is one of the highest utilizers of CELA.

We are pleased to offer a 1-year emergency medicine simulation fellowship. Our goal is to train outstanding educators who will not only become leaders within simulation but also in emergency medicine as a whole.

The following award-winning faculty lead our simulation division:

Kenneth Palm, MD (Director, Simulation Division)
Laurie Lawrence, MD (Director, Pediatric Simulation)
Charles Lei, MD (Director, Simulation Fellowship)
Jeffrey Heimiller, MD (Assistant Director, Simulation Fellowship)
Ryan Walsh, MD (Director, Procedural Simulation)


Simulation Simulation Fellowship