September 23, 2022
Simulation is used across Mayo Clinic to give students authentic hands-on experiences that represent the challenges of patient care. The simulations help students learn to identify ideal clinical management decisions and see the future implications for patients.
For more than 17 years, Mayo Clinic has been recognized as a leader in health care simulation. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science takes full advantage of that expertise, strategically using real-life simulations to offer experiential learning based on real cases.
Simulation allows students to have authentic hands-on experiences that represent the challenges of patient care without putting patients at risk. The simulations use manikins, procedural task trainers, standardized patient actors, and various computer-based applications.
With help from debriefing discussions led by expert faculty, students learn to identify ideal clinical management decisions and see the future implications for patients. Experiential learning environments provide a safe, controlled atmosphere that promotes intellectual growth and scientific discovery.
Deliberate and purposeful practice in an environment that promotes focused, hands-on training has proven to improve performance, and increase competency and confidence of learners. Learners need a safe space that allows them to practice in a realistic setting and receive feedback to master their performance.
Torrey Laack, M.D.
Medical director, Multidisciplinary Simulation Center in Rochester, MN
Mayo Clinic offers all faculty, staff and students the opportunity to teach, train and learn in state-of-the-art simulated environments in multidisciplinary centers and learning laboratories across the organization.
Team-based approach for creating innovative experiences
Mayo Clinic has a Multidisciplinary Simulation Center in Arizona, Minnesota, and Florida (The J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Simulation Center), and a simulation learning laboratory at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
These teaching and learning environments support an integrated team-based practice approach with an innovative shared culture that promotes safety and trust.
The delivery of high-quality patient care is influenced by how medical professionals work together, communicate clearly and understand each other’s role. Simulations provide a dynamic learning environment that engages learners in making real decisions and seeing the results.
Matthew Hoerth, M.D.
Co-director, Multidisciplinary Simulation Center in Arizona
Mastering specific skills cannot be achieved through observation alone. It requires a significant amount of dexterity and repetitive and regular practice.
Leslie Simon, D.O.
Medical director, J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Simulation Center in Florida
Developing masterful practitioners
In an article penned for JAMA in 1927, Dr. William J. Mayo wrote, "When my brother and I entered practice, the whole science and art of surgery were rapidly changing. We secured our knowledge largely from experience. By turns, we eagerly visited every noted clinic in the civilized world in search of knowledge, and we also gained great inspiration thereby. When we heard of a man who appeared to be doing something unusual, we went to see him; sometimes he was in Europe, sometimes he was in a town near us. There is no excuse today for the surgeon to learn about the patient."
Today, as Mayo Clinic leads successful change among the shifting paradigms in health care and seizes opportunities to transform and innovate on behalf of patients, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science continues to prioritize experiential learning, just as Drs. Will and Charlie Mayo did throughout their careers.
To truly instill a culture of lifelong learning requires encouraging self-directed learners and teaching them how to learn most effectively. The rapidly changing health care landscape demands all care providers take responsibility for their education, attainment of knowledge, and development of mastery.
Mark Morrey, M.D.,
Medical director, Procedural Skills Mastery Laboratory
Virtual tour: Explore the Center for Procedural Skills Mastery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota
Navigation tools: Use your mouse to click on the circles on the floors and move through the virtual tour. To advance directly into a specific room, click the dollhouse icon (lower left corner). You may also use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science continues to create learning experiences using simulation by investing in immersive technologies –– extended realities, such as virtual reality and augmented reality –– to offer unique and effective ways to engage with digital content.
Extended realities (using mobile devices and virtual and augmented reality head-mounted displays) provide an environment that allows learners to be fully immersed in the material, experiencing it first-hand in a realistic, highly engaging and memorable way. Immersive technologies have the potential to provide personalized learning experiences, tailoring content to the individual needs of each learner and allowing them to keep pace with technological changes over their careers.
Recognizing the impact of simulation-based learning
Across all Mayo Clinic locations, multidisciplinary simulation centers and procedural skills mastery training laboratories provide year-round, scheduled and just-in-time learning opportunities.
Mayo Clinic will host "Healthcare Simulation In Person Conference 2023: Elements, Essentials & Excellence in Healthcare Simulation" on March 9–10 in Rochester. The conference is currently accepting presenter proposals. Submissions are due by Sept. 30.