Unexpected collateral effects of simulation-based medical education

Jeffrey H. Barsuk*, Elaine R. Cohen, Joe Feinglass, William C. McGaghie, Diane B. Wayne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Purpose: Internal medicine residents who complete simulation-based education (SBE) in central venous catheter (CVC) insertion acquire improved skills that yield better patient care outcomes. The collateral effects of SBE on the skills of residents who have not yet experienced SBE are unknown. Method: In this retrospective, observational study, the authors used a checklist to test the internal jugular and subclavian CVC insertion skills of 102 Northwestern University second- and third-year internal medicine residents before they received simulation training. The authors compared, across consecutive academic years (2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010), mean pretraining scores and the percent of trainees who met or surpassed a minimum passing score (MPS). Results: Mean internal jugular pretest scores improved from 46.7% (standard deviation = 20.8%) in 2007 to 55.7% (±22.5%) in 2008 and 70.8% (±22.4%) in 2009 (P < .001). Mean subclavian pretest scores changed from 48.3% (±25.5%) in 2007 to 45.6% (±31.0%) in 2008 and 63.6% (±27.3%) in 2009 (P = .04). The percentage of residents who met or surpassed the MPS before training for internal jugular insertion was 7% in 2007, 16% in 2008, and 38% in 2009 (P = .004); for subclavian insertion, the percentage was 11% in 2007, 19% in 2008, and 38% in 2009 (P = .028). Conclusions: SBE for senior residents had an effect on junior trainees, as evidenced by pretraining CVC insertion skill improvement across three consecutive years. SBE for a targeted group of residents has implications for skill acquisition among other trainees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1513-1517
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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