Use of medical simulation in neonatal-perinatal fellowship training programs

Abstract:Objective: Simulation-based training is being increasingly used in undergraduate and graduate medical education. There are no prior studies on the use of simulation-based training in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine (NPM) fellowship programs in the U.S. We conducted this study to evaluate the current use of simulation-based training in these programs. Subjects and methods: An 18 question survey was sent to all NPM fellowship Program Directors in the U.S. The survey contained questions regarding the use of simulation-based training, details on how the training was accomplished and perceived barriers to its use. Results: 62% (60/97) of the programs surveyed responded. Eighty-one percent of responding programs reporting using simulation. Of those, 86% used mannequin-based high-fidelity simulation. The most common uses for simulation training included: neonatal resuscitation skills (86%), procedural skills (71%), airway management (69%), crisis resource management/team training (69%), and professionalism (47%). Most programs are still developing their curriculums and there was a wide range in the amount of time spent on simulation training. Common barriers included time and cost of equipment. Conclusions: The majority of NPM fellowship programs we surveyed used simulation as part of their training and most did so with the use of high-fidelity mannequins. The proportion of programs using simulation for crisis team management and professionalism suggest that these types of training are important component of simulation-based training in addition to the traditional use for resuscitation skills. Further research is needed to determine if simulation-based training in NPM fellowship provides important benefits over traditional teaching methods.

*Corresponding Author: 

Dr. Lynnette Johnson, Department of Pediatrics, Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Road, TAMC, HI 96859, USA. Tel.: +1 808 433 6345; E-mail: