The COVID-19 pandemic has led to disruption and missed educational opportunities for Internal Medicine (IM) Year 2 trainees who shall progress to the second stage of their training in August 2021, stepping up to the medical registrar role. It had become apparent that some of these trainees may not be currently performing at the level expected for this stage of their training and may encounter some difficulties during this transition period.
We were tasked by Health Education England (West Midlands) to design and implement an innovative region-wide medical registrar preparation course, utilizing simulation-based education. The courses required standardized content that could be delivered by either face-to-face or virtual modalities across multiple centres in the region.
Two separate high-fidelity simulation courses were designed to deliver key aspects of the IM training curriculum with a clear focus on the behaviours, attitudes and skills required to perform as a junior medical registrar: ‘Thrive’. A 1-day course designed for trainees who are expected to be able to progress to IM year 3 without any concern. These courses were planned to be run by other regional centres to their local trainees using either a face-to-face or virtual format. ‘Strive’. A 2-day course designed for those trainees who have been identified as needing extra support to be able to progress to IM year 3. These courses were planned to be run via a face-to-face format at our SimWard to trainees from across the region. Course content included a mix of high-fidelity simulation scenarios as well as workshops focussing on key areas for medical registrar preparation as identified by IM trainees:
Leading cardiac arrests
Breaking bad news
Prioritization and delegation
All content was designed and produced in house to then be provided electronically to region-wide centres facilitating standardized delivery, including pre-recorded simulation scenarios to allow virtual delivery. A webinar was held to aid roll out and provide training on course delivery and content to participating centres. Courses were delivered during the spring and summer of 2021. Initial feedback has shown an increase in perceived trainee confidence in dealing with all topic areas at the registrar level and has illustrated that learning has already been utilized in clinical practice. Courses are ongoing until the end of July 2021, after which a full analysis of region-wide impact can be made.