Purpose of review: We provide an overview of the developments in medical education and assessment using high-fidelity simulation. Both descriptive and research papers recently published in the English language are included in this review.
Recent findings: The majority of articles reviewed are descriptive in nature, outlining the use of simulation for various educational purposes in undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education. Some articles focus on the use of simulation for the acquisition of technical skills in different surgical disciplines using part-task simulation. Other disciplines such as emergency medicine, critical care, paediatrics and nursing have also contributed to the literature in this area. Very little research in the area of simulation is evident in the literature addressing the actual value or the reliability and validity of high-fidelity simulation as an evaluation tool during this time period. A strong interest in decreasing human error and the improvement in patient safety may indicate the future direction of high-fidelity simulation.
Summary: Simulation is receiving increasing support as an educational tool and in its use for evaluation purposes. Research into this area is still somewhat limited. As the research impetus increases in the future, we may see simulation as a major focus in all disciplines with respect to its use in the improvement of patient safety. Team training, including both personality and attitudinal issues similar to those performed in other high hazard industries, may become increasingly evident in the literature in the coming decade.