Medical simulation has come a long way in Western health care, however in the developing world; health education sectors have not adequately addressed its significance and role in preparing and updating heath care personnel. Standardization, paucity of trainers, validation and deficiency of a structured syllabus and cost of equipments need to be overcome in the next decade. Despite these problems, worldwide acceptance of the concept of medical simulation is growing. It is undoubtedly the wave of future. Multidisciplinary, Inter-professional, multimodal simulation training is possible. Virtual worlds are increasing the vistas of training, making the actual health care dispensing more skilled and safe.
Simulation means “an imitation of some real thing, state of affairs or a process” For the purpose of solving a problem and making a judgment. Warfare Technology and aviation industry have made rapid strides in simulation and are the true proponents of this virtual world. In developing world, we find there is a need to establish dedicated simulation centers to support a cluster of medical schools where undergraduates as well as postgraduates can learn diagnostics as well as invasive therapeutics without compromising the safety of a real patient. Medical simulation can never be considered as a substitute to actual ward based clinical real patient interaction training. Conventional training is the best, as far as learning communication, bed side manners, physical examination and history taking is concerned. Medical simulation laboratory primes a student for ward rounds and patient assessment. Every student must spend designated hours and undergo a structured syllabus course under the supervision of an instructor before he/she steps in a clinical ward. Invasive procedures must be first practiced on mannequins to acquire an acceptable degree of skill and proficiency before embarking upon a human patient. The simulation thus greatly enhances patient safety. A simulation lab enables the students to learn and acquire the new skills in a relatively shorter time. Students can repeat a set of actions and exercises as many times as they want. Moreover the self training module can help them to perfect their skills at a pace convenient to them even in the absence of an instructor. In the absence of such a lab, specific educational experiences may take several weeks or months to accumulate in a clinic. Once simulation has produced mastery of fundamental skills, it can expose the students to different levels of difficulties, abnormalities and other problems. The system can inject variations which compel the students to think, and modify their treatment plans. Learning is evidence based and the simulator lab thus provides a learner centric and yet teacher enabled environment. The repeat attempts of the performance by the learner are mapped and the student can see for himself the progressive improvement that he/she is making. This is morale booster. Debriefing is a very vital component of the course and this promotes the culture of trust and openness in learning. Adverse events reporting increases as there is no fear of a blame game. Another significant advantage of medical simulation is its applicability across the health professions. One can tailor the course contents and the syllabus for doctors, nurses, technicians and paramedics. They then can be trained to work as a team. Telemedicine can be incorporated to facilitate distant learning and preceptor concept in health care dispensing. A real time feedback enables the learner to understand where he went wrong and simulator can also give valid useful suggestions. Quantification of the performance and time taken to achieve the desired result can be monitored and this works like a corrective tutorial improving the student’s thought process and clinical skills.