(HealthDay News) — Simulation can help pediatric residents prepare for global health electives, according to an article published in Pediatrics.

Noting that in order to prepare for participation in global health electives, residents should focus on emotional and ethical issues as well as medical knowledge, Michael B. Pitt, MD, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues discuss the role of simulation for global health elective pretravel preparation.

The authors present a standardized simulation curriculum for use in preparing residents for the challenges they are likely to encounter. Cases were designed to expose residents to clinical scenarios encountered in these settings; each case was paired with a standardized debriefing script as part of the Simulation Use for Global Away Rotations (SUGAR) curriculum. 

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During 2013, 51 residents participated in 1 or more cases and completed evaluations after each case (160 evaluations). The residents reported feeling that the experience was very useful for preparation and most reported that they planned to make changes to their preparations as a result of the simulation. 

In a follow-up survey of residents who completed their global health electives in 2014, the most frequent themes for the helpful aspects of the SUGAR program were practicing with limited resources, learning to problem solve, expanding medical knowledge, and cultural preparation.

“The use of simulation in pretravel preparation may provide an ideal approach to address these domains of learning,” the authors wrote.


  1. Pitt MB, Gladding SP, Butteris SM. Using Simulation for Global Health Preparation. Pediatrics. 2016. doi:10.1542/peds.2015-4500.