What can we learn from Aviation Industry Simulation?

Aviation and Healthcare Simulation

This week I had the privilege of meeting Captain Stephen Wilkinson, co-creator of Medical Management Resources here in Las Vegas.  Stephen was interested in learning more about the Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas and I was delighted to chat with him about the similarities between the aviation and healthcare simulation industries.

A great article about Stephen and his work can be found at the Las Vegas Sun website.

Here’s a little snippet:

“When Steve Wilkinson, a retired commercial pilot, and Dr. Steve Montoya, a Las Vegas obstetrician/gynecologist, were neighbors, they realized the similarities between their industries:

• They’re both high-risk and high-stress enterprises where the lives of many are in the hands of a highly trained few.


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• They both depend on teamwork and safety to protect passengers or patients.

• They are both complex, meaning success requires proper checklists, protocols and procedures to ensure no details are missed.

• In aviation, the belief was formerly that “the captain is always right” and above being challenged, and error reporting was nonexistent. A similar aura surrounds many physicians, and most hospitals woefully under-report cases of patient harm.”

I feel we have a lot to learn from the aviation industry which has been running communication and skills based learning through simulation for over 30 years now.  And while the situations are different, the resource management and communication tactics are the same.

Have you learned something from the simulation in the aviation industry?  Write to us and share with the community.


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