CMS Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Issam Tanoubi 

Blog - CMS Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Issam Tanoubi 

“Sometimes, we end up realizing our dreams in a roundabout way,” says Dr. Issam Tanoubi, who prior to attending medical school, envisioned himself becoming a film director. While participating in a postdoctoral training, he found his love for cinema and medicine merging into one amazing field: simulation.   

Dr. Tanoubian Anesthesiologist at Maisonneuve Rosemont Hospital in Montreal and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Université de Montréal (UdeM), completed his postdoctoral training at the University of McGill Simulation Center. It was during this time that Dr. Tanoubi attended the Comprehensive Instructor Workshop at the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) 

This course has trained me as an instructor, and the emphasis on debriefing during this course is, in my opinion, the key point for any future simulation instructor. By highlighting the importance of the debriefing in simulation-based learning, the novice instructor should properly frame the simulation by switching it from the teaching technology-based tool into the cognitive learning leading approach,” explains Dr. Tanoubi, who went on to complete CMS’ Advanced Instructor Course and is now Simulation Instructor and Research Director in Simulation Based Medical Education (SBME) at the University of Montreal Simulation Center.  

Following his simulation-based training, Dr. Tanoubi’s research interests began to shift:  

I was already pretty much involved in clinical research and research methodologies development and one year after my instructor’s debut at UdeM, about 7 years ago, thanks to my involvement in simulation and my master’s degree in medical education, I added this topic in my research field. Now the research in SBME has almost overrun all my other research interests.”  

Most recently, Dr. Tanoubi and a team of researchers conducted a study utilizing the DASH© instrument to assess “the impact of an educational intervention, based on high-fidelity SBME, on the debriefing competence of novice simulation instructors.” The team published their findings in The Journal of Advances in Medical Education and Professionalism. Dr. Tanoubi is excited to share the study’s results as well as inspire other researchers: 

The readers will surely note the easy but efficient methodology. Indeed, our classic approach to assess an educational intervention could be extrapolated in several teaching fields, and thus could inspire other research.” 

Asked why his team used the DASH instrument for the research study, Dr. Tanoubi explains: 

The DASH is easy to understand, to use and does not require a translation. I used it at the Faculty of Medicine in Tunisia where I led train-the-trainers simulation seminars, without being strained to any translation. Also, the DASH explores the debriefing, key component of successful simulation across several facets and thus, offers an assessment of the specific areas of improvement of the trainees in debriefing. By describing in a simple and effective manner the criteria for a good quality of the debriefing, the DASH is also an excellent tool for the learning and the self-assessment of the instructor.” 

So now that his research has published, what is Dr. Tanoubi working on? 

I am very interested in patient safety and CRM components. Recently, during the last SimSummit in Winnipeg, we presented two completed projects exploring the impact of a high decibel level in the OR on the physician’s situational awareness and the patient safety (randomized, simulation-based trial) and the efficiency of the videolaryngoscopy in the case of hemoptysis (randomized, simulation-based, on embalmed cadavers).  

I also completed two simulation projects to explore the differences in visual focus between the novice and the expert physician using the eye tracking technology (randomized, simulation-based). In addition, during the last SimSummit, I co-directed a workshop on emotional intelligence (EI), what I consider as a major competence during debriefing. We explored the usefulness of a debriefing on demand to enhance the learner’s EI. My two future research fields will probe the links between the debriefing on demand and the EI learning and also between the debriefer’s EI and the quality/success of his debriefing.” 

From a potential filmmaker to an anesthesiologist/researcher/simulationist/debrieferDr. Tanoubi thinks back and is deeply satisfied with his career-trajectory: 

I still remember Dr. Rudolph presenting the Debriefing with Good Judgment© method. She asked us to not necessarily marry this technique, but at least to date it! Now, I can declare that my date was successful, I’m engaged.” 

To view Tanboui et al’s The Impact of a HighFidelity Simulation-Based Debriefing Course on the Debriefing Assessment for Simulation in Healthcare (DASH)© Score of Novice Instructorsplease visit: