The 15th Congress of SESAM (Society in Europe for Simulation Applied to Medicine)

Professor Wolfgang Heinrichs, of the AQAI Simulation Centre Mainz, Germany, notes that the 15th SESAM congress slogan "Europe-tradition and innovation in simulation", was born out by the choice of venue, the Mainz Simulation Centre was one of the first of its kind in Europe, and also hosted the 2000 SESAM congress.

Professor Wolfgang Heinrichs
Professor Wolfgang Heinrichs

The scientific programme and trade fair were no less innovative this year, he says, and thus attracted 345 participants from 26 countries. His list of concepts and innovations that left a big impression includes:
Simulators: ‘Today, wireless patient simulators enable the enactment of more realistic and practicable emergency cases. Several companies demonstrated their latest developments in virtual reality and task trainers, e.g. for ultrasound simulation, showing that virtual reality simulators have reached an acting performance that is so close to reality that you barely notice the difference.’METI presented its brand new product called METIman while Laerdal showed the 3G simulator as well as a newborn SimBaby.
Software: ‘The software for the simulations is increasingly user friendly; the combination of complex physiologic models with user interfaces enable rapid, easy fingertip control of scenarios.’
Science: ‘Dr Peter Dieckmann (Copenhagen) and Dr Tanja Manser (Zurich) conducted a pre-conference workshop on ‘science applied to simulation’, and demonstrated new models, which, whilst having a more complex application, were far more realistic.’
Standards:  ‘SESAM established standards for simulation centres and instructors. Curricula are to be developed, which, in large hospitals in some countries, are already standard. One notable point was the setup of a database for centres and institutions that offer standardised instructor workshops or Train the Trainer (TTT) classes.’
Teaching: ‘See one, do one, teach one – that well-known phrase applies to patients! See one, train many, many on simulators, do with immediate success on patients – this could be the phrase for today, or at least for the future. The keynote lecture ‘Defining the Role of Simulation in Measuring and Improving Performance’, delivered by Dr Gary Dunnington, Chair of Surgery at Southern Illinois University, USA, was clearly a highlight of the congress. Another keynote lecture, ‘Simulation Integration, The London Experience’, given by Ian Curran, Associate Postgraduate Medical Dean in the London Deanery, reported on a London network for postgraduate education.’


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