Simulation Program

The Emergency Medicine Simulation Program is focused on training residents in the timely recognition and appropriate intervention for critically ill patients. Besides learning medical management, simulation training provides a hands-on opportunity to practice skills and real-time decision-making. This training improves residents' confidence and competence with a large educational focus on the principles of crisis resource management: effective teamwork, leadership, and communication in high stakes situations.

Importance of Simulation Training

Simulation training is an increasingly important component of medical education. Emergency medicine, in particular, is a specialty where practice in the simulation center is applicable to clinical care. EM residents are constantly faced with the challenge of caring for critically ill patients in a complex hospital environment. Beyond medical knowledge and skills, responding appropriately to acute life-threatening events involves working well within an interprofessional team. Simulation training provides an opportunity to practice and debrief effective teamwork strategies to help mitigate the many challenges of the ED.

The Department of Emergency Medicine Simulation Committee has developed a comprehensive simulation curriculum to include both pediatric and adult simulation training. With the opening of our UW Clinical Simulation Program’s 7,500 square foot center, our residents have a greater ability to participate in interdisciplinary training, as well as enhance their procedural skills in airway management, ultrasound, central line access, and many other essential EM procedures. Using high fidelity simulators, procedural skills trainers, and integrated ultrasound capabilities, residents and medical students have the opportunity to practice the acute management of critically ill patients, as well as sharing difficult information with patients and families, and then discuss their performance in a structured debriefing.

Our philosophy of simulation is that it is a crucial tool to enhance patient care. As such, we utilize simulation to constructively educate, and create a safe space to gain experience in managing the critically ill and difficult patients. Debriefings are a key portion of any simulation program, and we focus on constructive reflection and discussions of leadership, teamwork, principles of communication, and medical management.

Join the Simulation Interest Group!

Residents interested in becoming more involved in learning how to develop a scenario, operate equipment, and/or facilitate a debriefing can join our Simulation Interest Group. For more information, please email the director of medical simulation, Dr. Michelle Hughes at

Director of Medical Simulation
Assistant Professor (CHS)
Associate Professor (CHS)
Flight Physician, UW Health Med Flight