7th Annual International Pediatric Simulation Symposia & Workshop Opens in Vancouver

pediatric simulation conference

This morning in beautiful Vancouver, Canada over 250 global attendees participated in the opening ceremonies of the 7th annual IPSSW, which focuses on Pediatric Simulation in Healthcare. The International Pediatric Simulation Society (IPSS) has been established to promote and support multi-disciplinary simulation-based education, training and research in all subspecialties that care for infants and children . The Society organizes an annual meeting that brings together leaders in the field of pediatric simulation with educators, researchers and patient safety experts. The meeting – IPSSW – provides an opportunity to expand horizons, cross-fertilize ideas and promote excellence in education and investigative research. In 2013, HealthySimulation.com provided a comprehensive two-part video breakdown of that year’s event with interviews of key leadership and participants.

About IPSSW 2015

“IPSSW2015 – Reaching Out to the Future” recognizes and encompasses a number of developments in the continued evolution of pediatric simulation. Firstly, the continued expansion of simulation across the globe including to resource-poor contexts and the formation of international collaboratives has us “reaching-out” as a community. Secondly, Outreach simulation, where the centre-based silos are broken down and simulation is delivered in community-based settings, is another manifestation of our simulation enthusiasts reaching-out. Finally pediatric simulation is at the forefront of the trail being blazed into the future in terms of a paradigm shift in education and high-stakes assessment.

President’s Address

Dr. Stephanie Sudikoff, the new President of the IPSS organization, announced the major updates regarding the community:

  • Reincorporated in Switzerland
  • Bylaws were reviewed and updated as part of the new application
  • IPSS was awarded Excellence in Simulation Award from SESAM Middle Eastern and Northern African Conference.
  • These projects continues to grow: Malawi Simulation Training Support, ECMO Curriculum Development, Fellowships in Simulation – Training the Future Leaders of our Field

In closing Stephanie asked the community “Who can we be together?” in 2015 and requested to hear from each of the organizations’s 210 members.

Keynote Speaker 

Dr. Geoff Norman, Ph.D. from McMaster University, spoke about “Cost-effective use of simulation in designing an evidence – based clinical curriculum”. Dr. Norman attempted to demonstrate how we use simulation to achieve our goals — but do we do it the most effectively and affordably? He defined some assumptions:


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1) Performance on the simulation is related to performance in the real world. He agreed that this has been proven correct.

2) The more authentic the simulation the stronger the learning outcomes. Basically, does greater fidelity mean greater learning?

Dr. Norman pointed to four main points for simulator functionality

  • Authenticity – the extent to which the simulation appears to resemble reality (face validity)
  • Sensorimotor fidelity – the extent to which the critical elements of the simulation accurately reproduce the real task
  • Psychoaffective fidelity – the degree to which the task is perceived to be similar to the real task
  • Environmental / contextual fidelity – the degree to which the environment (room instruments) is realistic.

Dr. Norman shared a number of research articles which demonstrated a mis-connection between simulated learning features and dramatic outcome results. While he showed some examples of research where medical simulators only mildly improved outcomes, his theory completely failed to look at the aviation simulation industry. Medical simulation is relatively new field where the technology adoption is still emerging with NO regulated requirements. Contrast that with aviation which has existed for over a hundred years, and is now a regulated requirement by governments around the world. Widespread adoption over a longer period of time has evolved the simulators into better and better replications of real world environments. I am sure if we did research to examine learning on a 747 simulator from 1968, and a 747 simulator from 2015, that the learning outcomes would be improved. Not mentioning the dramatic changes from the original 747 cockpit to today’s models — but the level of fidelity itself better mimics the reality of flying today.

Dr. Norman closed with points that encouraged the audience to created interleaved (mixed) practice where diagnosis for the correct tool provides better long term outcomes. This means not teaching to memorize the tools to perfection, but teaching to understand which tools to use in different scenarios.

About Dr. Norman

Geoff Norman, PhD, is Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University. He received a B.Sc. in physics form the University of Manitoba in 1965 and a Ph.D. in nuclear physics from McMaster University in 1971, and subsequently a M.A. in educational psychology from Michigan State University in 1977. He is the author of 10 books in education, measurement and statistics, and over 200 journal articles. He has won numerous awards, including the Hubbard Award from the National Board of Medical Examiners. The Outstanding Achievement Award of the Medical Council of Canada, the Distinguished Scholar Award of the American Educational Research Association, and the Karolinska Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Medical Education . He presently holds a Canada Research Chair. He was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2007. He received an honorary doctorate from Erasmus University, Rotterdam in 2010.

Learn more at the IPSSW 2015 homepage and the @IPSS twitter account!


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