Aussie Scholars Returning Home After Completing CMS Fellowship Program

Blog - Aussie Scholars Returning Home After Completing CMS Fellowship Program


When the opportunity to come to the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) for a 6 month fellowship came it seemed like a great idea – “why not?” However, as the time grew nearer, the prospect of being on the other side of the world, away from all that we were familiar with, seemed much more daunting.  How would these simulation gurus view these crazy Aussie chicks with their funny accents, strange lingo and penchant for poetry and karaoke?

Well now that the 6 months is over, we can conclusively say that it was the best idea ever!  We were made to feel welcome and valued and were given every opportunity to participate in learning, academic and personal development.   The wide range of courses from clinical drills though to the comprehensive instructor course gave us the opportunity to grow our sim educator skills as well as meet so many interesting and accomplished people from all over the world.

Regular catch ups with the faculty allowed us to explore our own ideas and further our own research activities. Meetings, book-clubs and writing clubs made us feel part of the CMS and broader simulation community.

It wasn’t all work though, and we shared memorable experiences with our CMS friends like Halloween, Thanksgiving and our first white Christmas. We were also able to travel and share our North American experiences with our loved ones.

What will we take back to Australia (apart from children with American accents and a few extra inches on our waists)?  A deeper understanding of how vital caring personally is in establishing and maintaining the safe container.  The need to truly join ourparticipants in conversations where we are all learners.  An appreciation of how to listen for understanding, and to choose our words wisely when replying.  The confidence to be able to teach these skills to others effectively. And finally, the understanding that these skills are life skills, not just sim skills, and practicing them daily is essential.

We would both like to thank the Mater Group in Brisbane and the Center for Medical Simulation for supporting us in this genuinely worthwhile and lifechanging experience.  We look forward to maintaining the strong connection between Mater and CMS from the warm sunny beaches of Queensland.

See ya later!

Stephanie Barwick, RNRM, MAdNP
Simulation Educator, Mater Education
Visiting Scholar and Fellow, Center for Medical Simulation

Dr. Sarah Janssens, MBES FRANZCOG
Staff Specialist Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Clinical Simulation Director, Mater Group
Visiting Scholar and Fellow, Center for Medical Simulation