Faking it? Simulation in the training of obstetricians and gynaecologists

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Dec;17(6):557-61. doi: 10.1097/01.gco.0000188726.45998.97.


Purpose of review: This paper discusses the use of simulation as a training tool in obstetrics and gynaecology.

Recent findings: Modern medical training and patient pressure for treatment by more experienced clinicians have contributed to a reduction in the training opportunities available to junior doctors. Advances in information technology have led to the successful introduction of simulator-based training in many safety-critical industries such as aviation and nuclear power. In this editorial we describe simulation devices that are available to obstetrics and gynaecology and explain how simulation can benefit the patient, trainee and educator. We also explore how simulation could be integrated into obstetrics and gynaecology training programmes.

Summary: At present simulation is very much underused as a training tool in medicine, and features little in the postgraduate training curriculum. In obstetrics and gynaecology simulation could be used as an educational tool to assist in (1) transfer of knowledge, (2) practising diagnostic and simple practical skills, (3) surgical skills training, (4) emergency drill training and (5) human factors and team training. Whereas simulation should not be perceived as a replacement for training with real patients, educators should embrace the opportunities that simulation provides and integrate it into current training programmes to maximize training opportunities and patient safety.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Gynecology / education*
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Patient Simulation
  • Teaching