CMS’ Dan Raemer has a memorable visit with Stephen Abrahamson, PhD

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On a recent trip to California, CMS’ Dan Raemer had the opportunity to meet one of his personal heroes, Dr. Stephen Abrahamson.  Dan reports that he spent a wonderful afternoon with Dr. Abrahamson and his wife reminising about his career in medical education and the development of the first computerized mannequin simulator, Sim One. 

In the late 60’s Dr. Abrahamson, an engineer and medical educator, and Judson Denson, MD led the team from the University of Southern California that developed Sim One.  Sim One was initally developed with the idea of training anthesthesia residents in endotracheal intubation.  This was later expanded in the early 70’s to include training interns, medical students, nurses, inhalation therapists and other healthcare professionals.  Although studies showed simulator training to be effective in improving student performance, Sim One and simulator training were ahead of their time.  In the early 70’s there was too much resistance to anything outside of the traditional apprenticeship model of medical training, and Sim One was felt to be too limited in scope and expensive for commercialization.  After Sim One, Dr. Abrahamson went on have a distinguished career at the Kerr School of Medicine at USC where he led the Division of Medical Education serving as a change agent and innovator who helped transform the entire field of medical education.

Dan Raemer, PhD is the Director of Research and Development at the Center for Medical Simulation. In 2003 Dan received a unique award from the Harvard Department of Anaesthesia for “excellence in teaching”. Using simulation as a research tool to investigate healthcare worker’s behaviors and thought processes has been his most enduring passion.  Dan has published work in these areas and has given numerous keynote addresses for specialty societies and other healthcare organizations on simulation as it has blossomed in the last several years. Dan is the founding trustee and a Past-President of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH).  In 2008, Dan received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from SSH for his contributions to the field. He is also a Past-President of the Society for Technology in Anesthesia.