Mount Sinai’s Simulation Lab Proves Effective in Training Anesthesiologists Reentering Practice

The study’s findings are available online and will appear in the July print edition of the journal Anesthesiology.

New York
 – May 31, 2013 /Press Release/  –– 

Results of a study on 10 years of experience retraining anesthesiologists in a simulation program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai reveal that 70 percent of participants returned to active practice within one year of completing the program. The study's findings are available online and will appear in the July print edition of the journal Anesthesiology.

The study is an analysis of the simulation program used to retrain and assess anesthesiologists' skills over decade, between 2002 and 2012.  A pioneer in simulation, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai's Simulation Lab was one of the first of its kind, launched in 1994 under Adam I. Levine, MD, the study's senior author. Dr. Levine is also Professor of Anesthesiology, Otolaryngology, Structural and Chemical Biology at Mount Sinai, and Director of the American Society of Anesthesiologists Endorsed Program, the Mount Sinai Human Emulation, Education, and Evaluation Lab for Patient Safety and Professional Study (HELPS).

"We had 20 anesthesiologists referred to our program during the study period," said Dr. Levine. Fourteen anesthesiologists returned to active practice within one year of completing the program.

"Reentry programs for anesthesiologists are urgently needed and are of great interest to the American Society of Anesthesiologists and The American Board of Anesthesiology," said Dr. Levine. "Strengths of our program are that it permits evaluation of core competencies, yet is adaptable enough to permit a focused evaluation and reeducation for the individual physician."

Mount Sinai's Department of Anesthesiology's simulation lab uses full-scale patient mannequins with palpable pulses, breath and heart sounds that can physiologically respond to a variety of intravenous and inhaled anesthetic drugs through the interaction of sophisticated sensors and robust cardiovascular and pulmonary computer-driven modeling. The simulation lab is used to teach the management of complex perioperative medical events and emergencies, including difficult airway management, recognition and management of ischemia and cardiac arrest, and other rare and critical pulmonary and cardiovascular events.

"We see this as one day being an adjunct, or even replacement, to the current oral and written anesthesiology board structure," said the study's lead author, Samuel DeMaria, Jr., MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at Mount Sinai. What differentiates the program from oral and written assessments is it allows participants to show what they would do during a crisis, not just say what they would do, and all without putting actual patients at risk.

Other study coauthors from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai include Stefan T. Samuelson, MD, Fellow, Simulation Center, Andrew D. Schwartz, MD, Instructor of Anesthesiology, and Alan J. Sim, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology.

The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Established in 1968, the Icahn School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States.  The Medical School is noted for innovation in education, biomedical research, clinical care delivery, and local and global community service.  It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital 16th on its elite Honor Roll of the nation's top hospitals based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. Of the top 20 hospitals in the United States, Mount Sinai is one of 12 integrated academic medical centers whose medical school ranks among the top 20 in NIH funding and U.S. News & World Report and whose hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll.  Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 560,000 outpatient visits took place. 

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