Indianapolis Conference Preview- Cathy Smith

By Cathy Smith

2014 ASPE Annual Meeting promises to be a very special celebration, with a rich, diverse conference program including sessions for SP educators ranging from novice to veteran, and everybody in between.  With over 30% more submissions this year, International perspectives have expanded with presenters from 10 countries, including Australia, Canada, Chili, Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and the United States.

Plenary Speakers

Howard Barrows Speaker, Debra Nestel PhD, CHSE:

Debra Nestel. Professor of Simulation Education in Healthcare, School of Rural Health, and HealthPEER, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Monash University, has used simulation as an educational method for over 25 yeears. An experienced qualitative researcher in medical and health professions education, she has worked at Imperial College London and the University of Hong Kong and is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne. Debra’s research interests include the role of simulation in the development of clinical skills, and she is especially interested in the role of simulated patients in supporting learning. Debra is Course Director of the Masters of Surgical Education, a program designed for surgeons as teachers and co-badged by the University of Melbourne and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Debra is Immediate Past Chair of the Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare and is a Board Member of Simulation Australia, the national peak body for the simulation industry. With colleagues around Australia, she has developed two national programs for simulation educators, which can be viewed at and She has also led the development of the Victorian Simulated Patient Network, seen at , which is a repository of resources on simulated patient methodology. With over 120 peer reviewed publications in the field of clinical communication and simulation-based education, Debra will be publishing an edited book on simulated patient methodology this year.

Debra’s presentation on Sunday, June 22nd is titled “Reflections on simulated (standardized) patient methodology: A pillar of the healthcare simulation community.”

In this lecture, she will reflect on her experience working with SPs over thirty years. Although acknowledging important differences in terms used in SP methodology internationally, Debra will focus on SP educators who, she feels, are relatively understudied. She will explore the development of SP methodology both as a specialist modality, and within the context of the broader professional healthcare simulation community, while tying her reflections to theory, experience and empirically based evidence.

Monday’s plenary speaker on June 23rd is Walter Eppich, MD, MEd, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where he is Director of Faculty Development for the Center for Education in Medicine and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medical Education. He has been a co-investigator on multiple simulation-related research grants. Nationally and internationally, he has taught extensively on basic and advanced simulation educator courses.  He has been an invited speaker on topics related to giving feedback as well as healthcare simulation and debriefing. He is a Member of the Board of Directors for the Society for Simulation in Healthcare. Walter’s topic is “Debriefing: Culture and Conversation. He describes his talk as follows: Feedback conversations after simulated learning encounter are recognized as essential components of healthcare simulations yet remain challenging even for experienced educators. Various elements influence these conversations, including: (a) the role of professional culture in shaping feedback credibility; (b) participants’ perceived psychological safety; and (c) educators’ ability to facilitate the discussions in an honest yet non-threatening way. After this talk, attendees will identify opportunities to strengthen feedback conversations in their own simulation education practice.

The following Immersion and Preconference workshops will be presented by leaders in the field of SP methodology who have been invited by the ASPE executive and conference committees to present their work as a result of reputation and standing.  Names of presenters and times of these offerings will soon be announced on the Website.

On Saturday, June 21st, we are offering five Immersion Workshops:

  1. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes – Comprehensive physical exam skills for SP Educators – Part 1 (all day)
  2. “Skull, Scapula, Patella and Phalanges – Comprehensive  physical exam skills for SP Educators – Part 11 (all day)
  3. Foundations of SP Methodology (all day)
  4. Basics of Research (half day)
  5. Getting from idea to presentation: How to get your work accepted for conference presentation (half day)

On Sunday, June 22nd, we are offering seven Preconference Workshops:

  1. Standard Setting
  2. Medical History Taking
  3. Advanced Practice in Gynecological and Urogenital Exam Instructions and Practicum
  4. Creating an SP Case-Strategy to Reality
  5. Hybrid Simulation
  6. Core Skills for the Certified Healthcare Educator
  7. Selling Your Center

Immersion courses and the Preconference workshops require additional fees: look for details on the ASPE website regarding fees and presenters.  Registration opens April 1st.

In addition to these robust offerings, the conference includes a dynamic mix of plenary sessions, 28 workshops, 31 presentation/discussions, 43 posters with facilitated presentations, snapshot sessions for innovative ideas, training techniques and oral research presentations.  Sessions are organized around themes such as SP Educator Development, Administration, Advancing Your SPs, Curriculum/Case Development, GTA/MUTA, Hybrid Simulation, Interprofessional Education, Research, Technology, and SP Methodology: Applications Beyond Health.

Additionally, vendors will provide ample opportunity to present you the latest in their simulation technology. As always, there will be abundant networking opportunities, including an Opening Reception on Sunday night, as well as breakfasts and lunches on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday–all included in your conference registration fee–and after hours informally organized social events will allow you to expand your network of simulation educators and re-connect with familiar colleagues.

We hope you are as excited as we are, and we look forward to seeing you there!




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