History and Development

A brief history of the Center for Medical Simulation

In 1994, the Center for Medical Simulation (CMS) put the first commercially produced, full-featured mannequin simulator to help train clinicians in teamwork and crisis management. Since then, CMS has grown in many ways, developing and operating courses for clinicians, medical educators, administrators and managers, and conducting an array of activities involving healthcare simulation.

Though the field has grown rapidly, CMS continues to differentiate itself with its multidisciplinary, expert staff and exceptionally high-quality, innovative programs in full-environment facilities. In more than two decades of experience in medical simulation, CMS has trained thousands of participants.

  • 1985
  • 1989
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  • 2015
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  • 2018
  • 2019


Jeffrey Cooper is a founding member of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF).


Jeffrey Cooper assumes Chair of Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation (APSF) and establishes the APSF research program.

Year Event

Jeffrey Cooper visits Stanford and Gainesville research projects.


Eleven members of Harvard Medical School (HMS) Anesthesia visit Stanford and experience Crisis Resource Management (CRM) training.


Stanford Professor Gaba and Cooper conduct “The Great Simulation Experiment” at HMS: 70 clinicians trained in CRM.


Boston Anesthesia Simulation Center (precursor to CMS) facility established in downtown Boston.


First official CRM course conducted.


Anesthesia chairs of Harvard Hospitals participate in joint CRM training program.

First simulation program for HMS third-year medical students conducted at BASC.


Name changed to Center for Medical Simulation.


Simulation CMS Instructors course & manual (with Stanford and Toronto).


First live simulation video conference.


CMS established as non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.


Anesthesiologists at Harvard-affiliated hospitals are given lower malpractice premium by CRICO (captive Harvard insurer) for CRM training at CMS; first such discount in the industry.


Pilot course for Labor & Delivery team training developed.


Simulation training required for Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) anesthesia faculty for credentialing.

Dan Raemer Receives HMS Teacher of the Year award.
CMS’ Healthcare Adventures, Healthcare Management Team Training, course established.

CRICO institutes malpractice premium incentive for OB/Gyns participating in CMS Labor & Delivery Teamwork Program at CMS.


Society for Medical Simulation formed (later renamed the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH).

Dan Raemer named Chair of first SSH Board of Directors.
First simulation instructor courses conducted by CMS’ Institute for Medical Simulation (IMS).

CMS conducts OR Teamwork Training Program for MGH Operating Room of the Future teams.

Socio Technical Team Study conducted.


Promutual Insurance Company (now Coverys) offers malpractice insurance premium discount for OB/Gyns participating in CMS’ Labor & Delivery Training Program.


CMS hosts ACS Board of Regents for introduction to simulation-based learning.

First CMS Institute for Medical Simulation workshop held at an offsite location.

CRICO (Harvard-affiliated hospitals’ captive insurance company) increases anesthesia malpractice insurance savings based on positive experience of CMS Crisis Resource Management training.


CMS hosts Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education’s Simulation Visioning Conference, leading to adoption of simulation agenda for cardiovascular surgery.


CMS endorsed as an American Society of Anesthesiologists Simulation Education Network program.

CMS approved by American College of Surgeons as an Accredited Education Institute.

First Spanish language IMS course held in Santander, Spain.
First Cardiac Surgical Teamwork Training Program.


Debriefing Assessment for Simulation in Healthcare (DASH) tool developed by CMS.

Hospital Virtual Valdecilla, Santander, Spain, becomes affiliate of CMS.

First CMS Institute for Medical Simulation Graduate course held.

Development of performance assessment program for anesthesia residents begins.


CMS conducts its first courses for Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesia (MOCA) CRICO OR Teamwork Instructor Pilot developed.

CRICO OR teamwork pilot conducted at CMS for MGH general surgery teams (qualifying them for a malpractice premium discount).


CMS Instructor Certification program revised; includes peer assessment and scoring of debriefing performance.

Instructor program for Emergency Medicine educator teams developed in preparation for CRICO EM teamwork training grants to 7 HMS-affiliated hospitals.

Jeff Cooper leads acclaimed NPSF simulation plenary.
Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger visits CMS.


CMS moves to 100 First Ave, Suite 400, Boston, MA in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Affiliate HvV conducts first Spanish language IMS courses in South America.


CMS celebrates 20th anniversary.

CMS Labor & Delivery Teamwork Program celebrates 10th anniversary.

Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, People’s Republic of China, becomes CMS Affiliate.


CMS celebrates its 21st anniversary with a gala event, introducing avatar coach futuristic concept.

5th level programs in anesthesia CRM and Labor & Delivery Team training introduced.

Mater Education Ltd, Australia, becomes CMS Affiliate


CMS’ Institute for Medical Simulation celebrates the completion of 200 simulation instructor training courses.

Founder Jeff Cooper announces his retirement.

Affiliate HvV conducts first Spanish language Healthcare Adventures workshop.


Jenny Rudolph, PhD, appointed CMS’ second Executive Director.

6th level programs in anesthesia CRM and Labor & Delivery Team training introduced.

Affiliate HvV conducts first Spanish language Advanced Instructor and DASH Rater Training courses.