Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Drexel University Emergency Medicine’s Simulation team took first place in the annual SimWars competition at the 2015 International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) in New Orleans, LA.

SimWars is an annual event at the five-day conference where various simulation centers from around the world form teams to compete in the challenge.  Drexel’s team consisted of six team members and was led by Sharon Griswold, MD the Program Director for Drexel’s Masters of Science in Medical & Healthcare Simulation (MSMS).

“This was a great showing, ” said Dr. Griswold. “Not only for the EM Simulation team but also spotlights the strength of Drexel’s new Masters in Simulation program”

The teams were tasked with creating a medical simulation case that met specific learning objects designed around the disclosure of a medical error.  For entertainment value they were also asked to include some New Orleans charm into the cases by including items such as a bottle of Death Sauce hot sauce, a Mardi Gras mask, a rubber gator, a toy musical instrument, and the word celebration.  They were asked to complete this task in just two and a half hours and then present it on stage to a large audience who voted to determine the winner. Teams were judged on meeting the learning objectives, entertainment, quality of the healthcare debriefing and overall performance.

This was not Drexel’s first time competing nor was it their first victory.  The team took home a trophy in 2013.  However, the format of the competition was completely different than in years past.  This years’ SimWars was a change of pace.  In the past teams were judged on medical treatment and team communication skills as healthcare providers, this year the competition showcased what a simulation team does on a consistent basis; create, coordinate and debrief simulations for learners.  After the 10 minute simulation there was an intense debriefing of the learners led by Drexel’s Jami Smith, PA-C, John Erbayri, NREMT-P, and Srikala Ponnuru, MD.

“Debriefing can be challenging on a regular basis,” said Erbayri. “Adding in the unfamiliarity of the learners and doing it in front of hundreds of people in the audience was amazing experience.”

The Drexel team was able to construct a simulation with a serious and emotional tone while also utilizing the props to cause a large amount of distractions making a challenging situation for any learner.

With all of the students from the MS in Medical & Healthcare Simulation program in attendance and the SimWars victory there was plenty of buzz about Drexel University and the masters program during the conference.  As a result, next year Drexel may be represented by a MSMS student team at SimWars 2016 at IMSH in San Diego, CA.

The Masters in Medical & Healthcare Simulation at Drexel University, is a unique, part-time, primarily online, two-year program that is the first of its kind to offer advanced training in simulation teaching, curriculum design, and the fundamentals of simulation research in an interprofessional setting. This degree program will prepare healthcare professions to further their academic career in healthcare simulation via quality, effective, simulation-based medical education, research, management, leadership and teamwork skills.  For more information about the masters program, please visit www.drexelmed.edu/mssim/

1 comment:

  1. Wow! So interesting like it’s a five day conference annual event. Well I have also booked a nice meeting room for my one day event in New York. It will be an interesting event for all youngsters and I am sure they are going to enjoy it.