Twelve tips for using simulation to teach about conformity behaviors in medical education

Med Teach. 2021 Feb 23;1-15. doi: 10.1080/0142159X.2021.1879375. Online ahead of print.


Decision-making at different moments in patient care is fraught with potential latent threats. Social influence is one such threat that is increasingly being reported in healthcare and medical education. While different teaching modalities might bring attention to the various ways in which learners conform during clinical decision-making, simulation stands alone as a robust experiential approach to trigger and influence behaviors of learners. Our article provides 12 tips for teaching about conformity using simulation as a modality. This article contributes to medical education because of its focus on a variety of nuances and adaptations required in the simulation scenario design and reflective feedback when teaching about the impact of social influence on clinical decision making. While such a learning outcome presents an unusual challenge for teachers and learners, the ultimate outcome remains the same - that is - to provide meaningful learning while holding honesty and safety of our learners as core values.

Keywords: collaboration; conformity; interprofessional; learning conversations; simulation.