Medical simulation utilization among pediatric anesthesiology fellowship programs

Aditee P. Ambardekar, Alana Newell, Kim Blassius, William B. Waldrop, David A. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Simulation-based education is a mainstay in education of pediatric anesthesiology trainees. Despite the known benefits, there is variability in its use and availability among various pediatric anesthesiology fellowship programs. Aim: The primary aim was to understand the current state of simulation-based education among pediatric anesthesiology fellowship programs and define barriers that impede the development of an effective simulation program. Methods: This survey-based, observational study of simulation activities within United States-based pediatric anesthesiology fellowship programs was approved by the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) of the authors' institutions. A 35-question survey was developed in an iterative manner by simulation educators (AA, WW, DY) and a statistician familiar with survey-based research (AN) using research electronic data capture (REDCap) for tool development and data collation. Descriptive and thematic analyses were performed on the quantitative and qualitative responses in the survey, respectively, and were stratified with small, medium, and large fellowship programs. Results: Forty-five of 60 (75%) fellowship programs responded to the survey. The presence of a dedicated simulation program director and number of simulation instructors was positively associated with the size of program and years in operation. Dedicated simulation support was variable across programs and was usually present within the larger programs. A positive association also existed for educational activities among all programs mostly based on size of program and years in operation. Protected time was the most commonly cited barrier to having a comprehensive and sustainable simulation program. There was general agreement for establishing a standardized and shared curriculum among fellowship programs. Approximately 70% of simulation programs had no formal simulation instructor training requirement. Conclusions: Simulation-based curricula are broadly offered by many fellowship programs. Improved collaboration locally, regionally, and nationally may improve educational opportunities for fellowship programs, particularly the small ones. These efforts may begin with the development of a standardized curriculum and formal instructor training programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-832
Number of pages10
JournalPaediatric anaesthesia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • education
  • general anesthesia
  • simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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