Medical Students design simulation scenarios for the CSC team at their Paediatric Society conference

16 Jun 2022, 5:39 p.m.

On Sunday 20 March our simulation fellow Kate Drewek and technician Amy Dines attended the Bart’s London and University College London ‘Paediatrics Society National Annual Conference’ on behalf of the Clinical Simulation Centre.

Logo for the BL x UCL Paediatrics Society National Annual Conference

The GOSH Clinical Simulation Centre team were invited to run a workshop at the conference after a member of the organising committee heard a great review of our medical student simulation sessions from a fellow UCL student.

The conference was titled "Coming Together: The Power of Communication in Paediatrics" so Kate and Amy designed a workshop to showcase how simulation can be used to develop communication skills. Attendees were all medical students between their first and fifth year of study with varied levels of previous exposure to simulation.

Following a discussion around the benefits and limitations of using simulation to practice communication skills, students were introduced to "Paediatric HAL", one of our high-fidelity manikins with responsive eyes, active facial expressions and who can cry real tears. Some also met Ava, our Avatar designed by senior technician Eli Gumble, who uses real-time facial motion capture technology to simulate the responses of a child.

Kate introduces conference attendees to our high-fidelity manikin

Kate introduces conference attendees to our high-fidelity manikin

We then let the students take the driving seat! Under Amy’s guidance, conference attendees designed and ran scenarios that they would like to see Kate, who is a paediatric registrar by background, participate in as a simulation candidate. They used moulage to stage their patients, directed how scenarios developed from behind the scenes and some even used excellent acting skills as distressed parents to really challenge Kate!

Scenarios were each followed by a debrief discussion that covered both the process of creating their scenarios and explored the communication skills that they had been aiming to simulate. This ranged from supporting a very anxious patient to initiating discussions about suspected non-accidental injury with parents.

“I had never used a simulation before, therefore I found it really interesting to see how it can be used to help doctors mimic a real life experience and provide practice. It was very interactive and we got a chance to create our own scenario, which I enjoyed a lot.”

Conference attendee in written feedback

For many of the students, this was their first experience of simulation and we received great feedback that, as well as being enjoyable, the workshop helped them to understand the role of simulation within medical education. The more experienced students also really enjoyed seeing the simulation from a different perspective, and Kate hopes may be inspired to become simulation fellows of the future!

“This workshop was super interesting! …I think as medical students we are always practicing simulations so it was super cool to have a glimpse into what goes into planning a simulation.”

Conference attendee in written feedback

Following this success, the team hope to run similar workshops in the future and are currently planning another ‘sim takeover’ for the GOSH Summer School. If you would like to run or participate in any similar sessions, or have any questions, please get in touch with the team at

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