Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Drexel Simulation Team Competes at Lehigh Valley SimWars


Lessons learned from Daring Greatly. 1

Dr. Brene Brown begins her book with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” —Theodore Roosevelt

It isn't often that we boast about times when we don't come away with the “win”.  Yet, this is the time to make an exception.  Yes, I do like to “win” but it is true that winning isn’t everything. It is so important to highlight the times and events in life when we can say that we came away from an event learning an incredible amount about ourselves, our purpose in healthcare education, and the efforts we've been pouring into a simulation program over the last several years. 

On April 9th and 10th the Drexel simulation team participated in a SimWars® event hosted by Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania. As someone who has participated both on stage and as a judge of SimWars® competitions, I can honestly say that SimWars® experience has challenged me to Dare Greatly.  After each experience from both sides of the fence, I find myself carefully reflecting upon the aspects of our simulation curriculum.  It takes an incredible amount of courage to get up on stage and effectively communicate with colleagues, take care of patients and manage chaos in front of an audience.  Yet, James Connelly, MD, John Erbayri, NREMT-P, Greg Owsik, MD, Melissa Fox, RN, Jami Smith, PA-C, Casey Hand, MD, Barry Mitchneck, RN and Russell Goldstein, MD readily rose to the challenge.  They comprise a group of healthcare providers with experience ranging from finishing the first year of residency to over 20 years of patient care experience. 

I was overwhelmingly proud of our Sim Wars Teams as they drew upon deep pools of knowledge, used effective crisis resource management communication skills, and truly delivered great examples of healthcare delivery.  Their simulation performances reminded me that most healthcare errors can be traced back to poor communication or lack of provider knowledge or skills.  Simulation allows the opportunity to practice, make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment away from patients.  Athletes, musicians, pilots, hairdressers and chess players practice -- why isn’t it a standard in healthcare provider training?

Our trainees know that the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.  I learn something each time I have the opportunity to participate in a simulation session.  I am grateful that our program has been fortunate to invest in the advancement of simulation education and I thank all of our Sim Team, participants and educators for stepping into the ring with me as they dare greatly.


1.          Brown B. DARING GREATLY: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. New York, NY: Gotham Books published by the Penguin Group; 2012.

To find out more about the MSMS program check out our website and follow us on twitter @mssimdrexel

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