A man using an eye surgery simulator

Good practices in simulation-based education in ophthalmology

Simulation-based education (SBE) allows students to apply their classroom knowledge and practice their skills by placing them in real-life situations. The Ophthalmology Foundation is honored to announce that Dr. Helena Filipe, OF Education Committee Member and Chair of the OF Simulation and Continuing Professional Development Subcommittees, has four thematic papers on SBE accepted for publication in the Pan-American Journal of Ophthalmology, published in Vol. 5, No. 1, October 2023.

The series, Good Practices in Simulation-Based Education in Ophthalmology, includes the below articles: 

Part I – IV Author Acknowledgements: Filipe, Helena Prior; Grau, Arturo; Musa, Pablo; Thomsen, Ann Sofia Skou; Clements, John; Luciano, Andreas Di; Lansingh, Van; Ng, Danny Siu-Chun; Labuschagne, Mathys

Woman using a simulation machine with another woman behind her looking at a screen

Recommendations could be useful to guide institutions planning to incorporate simulation-based education (SBE) into their training programs or institutions that have an established program but want to benchmark it against best practices. An effective, inclusive, and enjoyable simulation learning environment must be created to optimize learning and skills development. Areas to consider when proposing recommendations for creating an effective SBE environment include the following: the environment, group learning, facilitators, and educational requirements.

The common pitfalls in simulation design when simulations are not effective include inadequate prebriefing, cognitive overload, poor alignment with the real-world context or task, inadequate debriefing, and insufficient time for debriefing. The ethical imperatives of SBE must inform the training programs. The role players in the shared ethical values when using SBE include the patients, students, simulationists, and the simulators and simulated patients. SBE programs must be embedded into a curriculum and should not be an optional add-on. To ensure high standards of training in simulation centers, these centers must adhere to specific accreditation standards.

SBE aims to create a better training environment, improve patient safety, and address the challenges regarding the training platform and the burden of disease in eye care globally. Surgical simulation in ophthalmology provides an opportunity for partnership between institutions nationally and across borders because simulation centers cannot function in isolation. Recommendations for creating collaborations and partnerships for surgical simulation training will enhance the impact of any eye care program.

Support for the OF’s participation is provided in part by Carl Zeiss Meditec USA, Inc.

An eye surgery simulation machine