Adoption and integration of simulation-based learning technologies into the curriculum of a UK Undergraduate Education Programme


Dr S Barry Issenberg, Centre for Research in Medical Education, University of Miami School of Medicine, PO Box 016960 (D41), Miami, FL 33101, USA. Tel.: +1 305 243 6491; Fax: +1 305 243 6136; E-mail:


Context  At a time of significant changes in medical education world-wide, the international dimensions and global issues relating to the application of new learning technologies have been recognised.

Objective  The aim of this paper is to describe the adoption and integration within the curriculum in one United Kingdom (UK) medical school of ‘Harvey’, the Cardiology Patient Simulator, and the UMedic multimedia computer-based cardiology curriculum – resources developed in a medical school in the USA.

Participants  The integration of the resources into the curriculum is described by 3 teachers actively involved in the cardiology curriculum of the UK medical school and 3 teachers associated with the development of resources in the USA.

Aspects considered  The review considers the adoption of Harvey and UMedic in the UK in programmes in relation to: curricular issues, training needs, learning outcomes, curriculum content and sequences of content, educational strategies, teaching and learning methods, assessment, communication about the curriculum and management of the curriculum.

Conclusions  Learning resources, in the form of simulators and computer-based learning modules, developed in one country can be successfully adopted and implemented in another. Facets that facilitated the adoption included close liaison between the developers of the resources in the USA and the implementers in the UK, and careful and systematic planning including in-depth integration of the simulation-based resources into the required curriculum rather than their relegation to a peripheral ad hoc position. The successful use of simulators such as Harvey requires the presence of a ‘champion’, a clinician educator and a supporting administrative staff who ensure the simulator's appropriate use.