James Creswell Simpson: The Power of Medical Simulation as a Learning Tool

Blog - James Creswell Simpson: The Power of Medical Simulation as a Learning Tool

James Creswell Simpson, known as “Cres,” is a resident in Anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. He spent the month of June at the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) on an elective rotation. The goal of the rotation program is to expose residents to the potential and operational use of simulation for education, clinical training and research. Over the course of the month, residents develop simulation scenarios including patient records, plot, setup, debriefing notes, and references.

“My first day at the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS), I was given a tour of the facility by Dr. Roxane Gardner. As we crossed the hall to the area where I would later take the CMS Comprehensive Instructor Course, Roxanne asked me, “How much background do you have in andragogy?” After taking a moment to Google the definition – “the method and practice of teaching adult learners” – I realized my answer: none.

I came to CMS a believer in the power of medical simulation as a learning tool. What I took away from CMS was not only reinforcement of that belief but also a new appreciation for the unique techniques (and the research underpinning them) that allow for effective education of adult learners. I learned how we can use simulation and debriefing to improve upon the skills of even expert clinicians. And finally, over the course of an amazing month here at CMS, I’ve realized how thoroughly the staff at CMS hold to the so-called Basic Assumption – so much so that they even held it about me, despite my lack of knowledge and background. The amazing staff here at CMS went above and beyond to help attempt to make me into an effective teacher.

The month at CMS has been both enjoyable and influential. I have been inspired by the amazing faculty (as well as my fellow participants in the week-long CMS Comprehensive Instructor Course), and I will take the ideas they have taught me – including the Basic Assumption – forward in my career.”

-Cres Simpson, MD