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Simulation has offered a practical means to train and rehearse clinical skills for many years. Simulated environments, patients and related technologies have been used to develop, validate and maintain a wide range of clinical skills, across numerous clinical specialties. In the past 30 years, the field has truly thrived—as evidenced in rapidly evolving simulation technologies; the ever increasing volume and quality of simulation-based scientific studies; the institution of numerous peer-reviewed outlets for the dissemination of these studies; the number of learned societies dedicated to promoting simulation and their expansive memberships; and the widespread development and availability of clinical educational resources, curricula and policies centred on application of simulation. Such simulation-based training applications and interventions within the health professions has been termed an ‘ethical imperative’1—whereby demonstrating proficiency on simulation-based tasks and procedures prior to performing them in a clinical environment on patients appears to be a trend gaining significant momentum.2–4
Clinical simulation science is thus past its early developmental stages. Evidence reviews and syntheses are taking stock of where the field is, and where it should be heading. From this perspective of a self-reflective science, the paper by Cheng et al5 on the extension of existing guidelines to encompass the reporting of simulation research5 is as valuable as it is timely. Cheng and his colleagues applied an elaborate consensus-building methodology using panels of international experts in the field. In successive stages, they reviewed the existing guidelines for applicability to simulation research and edited them accordingly. In addition to …
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