Simulation-based curriculum development: lessons learnt in Global Health education

Rasha D. Sawaya, Sandra Mrad, Eva Rajha, Rana Saleh, Julie Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Simulation based medical education (SBME) allows learners to acquire clinical skills without exposing patients to unnecessary risk. This is especially applicable to Emergency Medicine training programs where residents are expected to demonstrate proficiency in the management of time critical, low frequency, and highly-morbidity conditions. This study aims to describe the process through which a SBME curriculum was created, in a limited simulation resource setting at a 4-year Emergency Medicine (EM) residency program at the American University of Beirut Medical Center. Methods: A case-based pilot simulation curriculum was developed following Kern’s 6 step approach to curriculum design. The curricular objectives were identified through an anonymous survey of the program’s residents and faculty. Curriculum outcomes were assessed, and the curriculum was revised to address curricular barriers. Evaluations of the revised curriculum were collected during the simulation sessions and through a whole revised curriculum evaluation at the end of the first year of its implementation. Results: 14/20 residents (70%) and 8/8 faculty (100%) completed the needs assessment from which objectives for the pilot curriculum were developed and implemented through 6 2-h sessions over a 1-year period. Objectives were not met and identified barriers included cost, scheduling, resources, and limited faculty time. The revised curriculum addressed these barriers and 24 40-min sessions were successfully conducted during the following year. The sessions took place 3 at a time, in 2-h slots, using the same scenario to meet the objectives of the different learners’ levels. 91/91 evaluations were collected from participants with overall positive results. The main differences between the pilot and the revised curricula included: a better understanding of the simulation center resources and faculty’s capabilities. Conclusion: Simulation-based education is feasible even with limited-resources. However, understanding the resources available, and advocating for protected educator time are essential to implementing a successful EM simulation curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number33
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Curriculum development
  • Education in low resource settings
  • Simulation curriculum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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