Purpose: To gather information regarding the global use of simulation technology in education, evaluation and research in anesthesia.
Methods: The WorldWide Web was searched and located sites with simulation centres (n = 158) were mailed a 67-item questionnaire requesting information regarding demographics, personnel, education use and research involvement. Comments were solicited. Medical school data only are reported in this article.
Results: Two web sites were used to generate the list of simulation centres. Sixty responses were received (38%), with 41 emanating from medical schools. Seventy-seven percent of centres were involved in undergraduate education and 85% in postgraduate education. Few centres were involved in evaluation and/or competency assessments. Sixty-one percent of centres indicated ongoing research with a further 25% interested in international collaboration. University or university departmental-based funding largely supported simulation technology used in medical schools. The lack of financial and human resources was the single most common problem identified by respondents.
Conclusions: From the survey responses received, opportunities for the simulator to be used for the assessment of performance appear to be under-utilized. This may be due to the lack of research in this area, lack of standardized, valid and reliable tests and the fact that most centres have only recently acquired this technology. Further research supporting the use of the simulator in education and evaluation is required.