Background: Debriefing is recognized as essential for successful simulation-based training. Unfortunately, its effective use is variable. We developed a train the trainer workshop to teach key evidence-based components of effective debriefing.
Method: A workshop focusing on best practices for debriefing in surgical simulation-based training was developed for the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association for Surgical Education. Content emphasized key theoretical concepts related to and evidence-based components of an effective debriefing. Additionally, the workshop incorporated experiential learning via active debriefing following a simulated scenario.
Results: Content of the workshop emphasized effective debriefing as the key to learning in simulation-based education. Key elements of debriefing for educators to keep in mind include the following: approach, learning environment, engagement of learners, reaction, reflection, analysis, diagnosis, and application.
Conclusions: Effective debriefing is an essential skill for educators involved in surgical simulation-based training. Without it, learning opportunities are missed. Training the trainer in effective debriefing is essential to ensure standardization of practice.
Keywords: Continuing medical education; Debriefing; Faculty development; Simulation; Surgical education.
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