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Can simulation foster resilience in medical students?
  1. Natasha Yates1,
  2. Eve Purdy2,
  3. Shahina Braganza1,
  4. Nemat Alsaba3,
  5. Anne Spooner1,
  6. Jane Smith1,
  7. Victoria Brazil1
  1. 1 HSM, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Natasha Yates, HSM, Bond University, Gold Coast, QLD 4229, Australia; nyates{at}

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Resilience is considered to be ‘a mindset and skill set that can be nurtured into a stronger and more effective attribute’.1 Whether and how it can be nurtured in medical students is a subject of interest for medical educators.1 2 Little is known about how physicians develop resilience.3 While some interventions show promise,4 resilience training in medical education is not well studied. We aimed to develop a teaching intervention with high acceptability to undergraduate medical students, which would allow exposure to challenges in a controlled, psychologically safe environment, and might enhance their resilience. Simulation-based education provided opportunities for carefully designed scenarios and debriefing by trained facilitators. Structured debriefing enabled participants to recognise and discuss stressful situations, as well as increase their connection with each other and with their teachers. These factors have been found to enhance resilience in other contexts.5

Participants’ impressions were explored qualitatively, and suggest that simulation can encourage reflection on the non-technical skill of resilience, provided there is careful design and debriefing of the simulation activity.

The project

In this project we sought to understand whether simulation can be used as a tool to explore and enhance resilience in medical students.

Enhancing resilience is recognised as a worthy goal for a variety …

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  • Collaborators (1) The Harvard Macy programme for educators in the health professions - for peer review of the study design. (2) Christine Sly and Pippa Eaton for their logistical support for delivery of the simulation programme, and student liaison during the study. (3) Schyler Waynforth and David Waynforth for support with results analysis.

  • Contributors NY and VB designed the study and obtained ethical approval. NY, AS and JS recruited and consented participants and conducted pre-intervention analysis. VB, SB and NA conducted the intervention and post-intervention quantitative analysis. EP conducted the post-intervention interviews. NY, VB and EP analysed and interpreted the quantitative participant data. NY, VB, EP, NA and SB analysed and interpreted the qualitative participant data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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