Home Volume: 3, Issue: Supplement 1
International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
A38Bridging the gap to FY1 – A high fidelity, regional programme with real life actor-based simulation of the acutely unwell patient

DOI:10.54531/MJMV1317, Volume: 3, Issue: Supplement 1, Pages: A27-A27
Article Type: In Practice, Article History

Table of Contents




Background and aim:

Simulation based learning is becoming an increasingly important focus across medical curricula internationally [1]. The need for medical students to be both theoretically and practically competent is essential in the transition to becoming a successful junior doctor. High technology driven manikin simulations are useful, however access is limited by lack of equipment, finance, and training. In district general hospitals this restricts junior doctors’ exposure to teaching and students’ access to a diversity of cases. Utilizing junior doctors as Near Peer Tutors (NPTs) provides a real life equivalent to the simulation experience that comes closer to exposing trainees to the realities of hospital life as an on-call doctor [2].


A 6-week programme originally designed in a separate NHS Trust was adapted and streamlined with improvements made to data collection, labour division and content delivery. Ten simulation sessions across two district general hospitals ran from 18/10/22 to 21/04/23 with 37 medical students and 8 NPTs. Each week focused on typical, in-hospital scenarios commonly faced by junior doctors. A self-assessment confidence survey and digital knowledge quiz was undertaken on the weekly topic followed by a 10-minute, high yield, interactive lecture delivered by a NPT. Students were split into groups of two and each group assessed the ‘acutely unwell patient’ with an ‘ABCDE’ styled approach to diagnosis and management. The NPT actor simulated improvement or decline based on the management decisions of the students. A STOP5 hot debrief ran at the end to give constructive feedback and promote discussion [3].


Self-assessment confidence scores by medical students were quantified against a 4-point Likert confidence scale. The students’ confidence rating improved by an average of 0.65 units (average pre-teaching = 2.40, average post-teaching = 3.05) (p<0.00001). Following the session, 35/37 students described themselves as ‘quite confident’ managing an emergency scenario compared with 13/37 prior to the session. Thematic analysis of the perceived benefit by students highlighted 3 main areas; an opportunity to engage in practical scenarios, utilization of A-E assessments, and the benefits of real-life actors. Students enjoyed the ‘informal setting’, ‘life like’ encounters, and expressed they would like to attend additional specialty specific sessions.


NPT centred medical simulation in a low-cost environment is a compelling method of engaging junior doctors as teachers and equipping medical students with the skills to become future on-call doctors. We encourage the implementation of similar programmes alongside medical school curricula to supplement preparation for practice.

Ethics statement:

Authors confirm that all relevant ethical standards for research conduct and dissemination have been met. The submitting author confirms that relevant ethical approval was granted, if applicable.

Oswald, Hughes, and James Speed: A38Bridging the gap to FY1 – A high fidelity, regional programme with real life actor-based simulation of the acutely unwell patient


1. Issenberg SB, McGaghie WC, Petrusa ER, Lee Gordon D, Scalese RJ. Features and uses of high-fidelity medical simulations that lead to effective learning: a BEME systematic review. Med Teach. 2005 Jan;27(1):10-28. doi: 10.1080/01421590500046924. PMID: 16147767.

2. Meerdink M, Khan J. Comparison of the use of manikins and simulated patients in a multidisciplinary in situ medical simulation program for healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom. J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2021;18:8. doi: 10.3352/jeehp.2021.18.8. Epub 2021 Apr 20. PMID: 33873264; PMCID: PMC8175761.

3. Walker CA, McGregor L, Taylor C, Robinson S. STOP5: a hot debrief model for resuscitation cases in the emergency department. Clin Exp Emerg Med. 2020 Dec;7(4):259-266. doi: 10.15441/ceem.19.086. Epub 2020 Dec 31. PMID: 33440103; PMCID: PMC7808839.