The demise of simulation

I Agree

Dear Editor,

I was interested to read the commentary on the European healthcare staffing crisis, particularly Tomas Zapata’s anecdote of simulation assessments in Israel.

Such simulation already successfully takes place in the NHS and in the UK’s Medical Schools, though Trusts are beginning to favour expensive virtual or computer based simulation at the expense of current trainees.

Trusts pay hundreds of thousands of pounds to offer virtual simulation through these platforms to their trainees. In my experience as a trainee, software must be downloaded onto personal devices and was not accompanied by allocated study time, but with another mandatory requirement to pass my ARCP. Trusts seem willing to pay huge sums to forego the organisation and provision of protected time for traditional simulation activities.

In my current Acute Medicine department, there is a multidisciplinary simulation every Thursday. It promotes better working relationships between staff and provides a medium to receive feedback on soft skills which cannot be assessed during virtual simulation. It also gives trainees a chance to show a breadth of skills to a consultant; skills which are not seen during ward rounds or during consultant-led activities.

For the cost of a license to use such virtual simulation, Trusts can employ Simulation Fellows, including pension packages, and time away from clinical activities for trainees. Evidence for the cost-effectiveness of virtual simulation activities must be informed by trainee feedback and must be compared to the cost of traditional simulation activities. We have seen the gradual erosion of clinical teaching; the protection of traditional simulation opportunities is an important step to maintaining the quality of our medical training.

No competing Interests: 
The following competing Interests: 
Electronic Publication Date: 
Monday, February 26, 2024 – 13:29
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The demise of simulation

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Daniel J
Foundation Year 2 Doctor
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals
BMJ: Additional Article Info: 
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