This chapter begins with a short review about the background and history of using simulation technology to educate health science professionals, especially physicians. Historical evidence about the utility and value of these simulation-based educational technologies is presented as available. Special attention is given to a recent systematic literature review spanning 34 years on the features and use of high-fidelity clinical simulations that lead to effective learning. The chapter then presents views about features of a sound educational research project in the health professions, including specific examples. These features are important for individual research studies and for more ambitious cumulative research programs. Next, it presents a concrete illustration of a cumulative, simulation-based, clinical education research program now underway at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. This is a stepwise series of education and research studies aimed at helping internal medicine residents acquire and maintain procedural skills in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and other clinical procedures. The promise and potential pitfalls of such a research program are also addressed. A set of practical suggestions is given about doing simulation-based research in health professions education drawing from "insider" knowledge about the clinical education research enterprise that may help other investigators to be more efficient and effective. The chapter aims to present a framework and a set of tools for current and future health science educational researchers who plan to conduct studies about new and innovative educational technologies.
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