CMS Faculty Publish Research on “Circle Up” in NEJM Catalyst

Blog - CMS Faculty Publish Research on “Circle Up” in <i>NEJM Catalyst</i>

Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) faculty recently published their research on the creation and clinical utilization of Circle Up, a supportive communications system designed for teams facing high-stress and dangerous circumstances. Appearing in the NEJM Catalyst, “’Circle Up’: Workflow adaptation and psychological support via briefing, debriefing, and peer support,” details how the Circle Up system was created to aid medical teams facing “stress and burnout” stemming from COVID-19.

The team of CMS faculty who were involved in the development of Circle Up and research associated with the tool include: Laura K. Rock, M.D.; Jenny W. Rudolph, PhD; Mary K Fey, PhD, RN, CHSE-A, ANEF; Demian Szyld, MD, EdM; Roxane Gardner, MD, MSHPEd DSc; Rebecca D. Minehart, M.D., MSHPEd; Jo Shapiro, MD, FACS; Chris Roussin, PhD.

Mary Fey, Senior Director of Teaching and Learning at CMS, and Chris Roussin, Senior Director of Educational Leadership and International Programs at CMS, discuss Circle Up in a video released during the pandemic lockdown:

Although Circle Up was created for clinical teams, the system can be applied to groups from a variety of fields:

“Any group that needs to coordinate their activities can use it.  It’s a system for communication that is built on the philosophy that teams work better when they openly communicate important information and support each other on a human level.  That works for any team anywhere,” explains Dr. Fey in a previous interview.

CMS’ spring 2020 webinar, Circle Up: Briefings, Peer Check-Ins and Debriefings, attracted a global audience and helped further spark interest in the tool. To date, Circle Up has been translated into Spanish and French, and has been implemented by teams in Boston, Belgium, Spain, France, Australia, Hong Kong, and Brazil.

The full NEJM Catalyst article was made available in September 2020. To view the article, please visit:

To learn more about Circle Up training for your organization, please visit: