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Keywords:

  • emergency medicine;
  • medical education;
  • simulation;
  • procedures;
  • technical skills;
  • competence

Abstract

Simulation allows educators to develop learner-focused training and outcomes-based assessments. However, the effectiveness and validity of simulation-based training in emergency medicine (EM) requires further investigation. Teaching and testing technical skills require methods and assessment instruments that are somewhat different than those used for cognitive or team skills. Drawing from work published by other medical disciplines as well as educational, behavioral, and human factors research, the authors developed six research themes: measurement of procedural skills; development of performance standards; assessment and validation of training methods, simulator models, and assessment tools; optimization of training methods; transfer of skills learned on simulator models to patients; and prevention of skill decay over time. The article reviews relevant and established educational research methodologies and identifies gaps in our knowledge of how physicians learn procedures. The authors present questions requiring further research that, once answered, will advance understanding of simulation-based procedural training and assessment in EM.