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The Meta-Debrief Club: an effective method for debriefing your debrief
  1. Chris Iain O’Shea1,
  2. Christopher Schnieke-Kind1,
  3. Dan Pugh1,
  4. Evie Picton2
  1. 1Medical Education Directorate, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2Edinburgh Medical School, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Chris Iain O’Shea, Postgraduate Education Centre, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, UK; chris.o'shea{at}

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The application of simulation as an educational tool within medicine is increasing. In immersive simulation, it is widely accepted that the post-scenario debrief is a critical component for learning.1 Effective faculty development is therefore required to preserve the quality of debriefing.

Though clear standards have been set out by the Association of Simulated Practice in Healthcare (ASPiH),2 there is little in published literature describing faculty development. NHS Lothian has established a ‘debriefing the debrief’ programme, called ‘The Meta-Debrief Club’ or ‘MDC’. It is available to staff from all backgrounds and levels of experience. Through group reflection, debriefers take part in a regular evaluation of their practice, with constructive feedback from peers.

Here we describe the founding of the MDC, its current format, factors contributing to a successful session, and results achieved. We hope this article and the accompanying online supplementary video will stimulate further discussion regarding faculty development methodology.

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Origins of the MDC

The MDC had simple beginnings, with a group of novice debriefers meeting to critically review footage of their debriefing. Over time, a standardised format emerged guided by our core belief that theories and practices applied to simulation participants are equally applicable to faculty learning. Two concepts, in particular, were influential.

First, we considered Ericsson’s technique of ‘deliberate practice’.3 The group had ample opportunity for practice, with responsibility for over 600 simulated scenarios per year. However, simple repetition does not continue to yield improvements in performance. Instead, a process of focused reflection was employed, leading to regular, deliberate refinements.

Second, Kolb’s theory of …

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