News and Events



CISL Staff Present Work and Research at the 2018 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH)

From January 13-17, 2018, simulation professionals from around the globe will convene in Los Angeles for the annual International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), sponsored by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

The conference brings together industry leaders for five exhilarating days, as researchers and practitioners share the latest innovations in this dynamic field.

CISL staff and faculty associates will be presenting the following work at this year’s conference:

Meet the Fellows: Current Work of the SSH Academy, Session #1
CISL Associate Dean David Gaba presenting
Monday, January 15, 10:00am-11:30am

Speed Mentoring Program in Healthcare Simulation Research
Facilitated by CISL Assistant Dean Susan Eller
Monday, January 15, 11:45am-1:15pm

Family Presence During Clinical Emergencies: A Simulation-based Training Program for Family Presence Facilitators
Rapid-fire session led by Cynthia Shum
Monday, January 15, 1:30-3:00pm

Research Committee Meeting
Committee meeting with CISL Assistant Dean Susan Eller, Chair of Research Subcommittee and Member of Core Research Committee
Tuesday, January 16, 7:00am-8:15am

Silicone Casting, Molding, and Other Tissue Mimicking Materials
Workshop led by CISL Simulation Technology Specialist John Fell
Tuesday, January 16, 10:00am-11:30am

Strengthen Individual and Team Leadership through Game-based Learning
Workshop by Naola Austin, CISL Assistant Dean Susan Eller, Sara Goldhaber-Fiebert, Steve Howard, former CISL Simulationist Teresa Roman-Micek, and Cynthia Shum. Additional Contributors to Workshop Development: Ruth Fanning, Kyle Harrison, and Louise Wen
Tuesday, January 16, 3:00pm-4:30pm



CISL Staff Complete SSH Certification Programs

It gives CISL tremendous pride to announce three of our staff as newly certified healthcare simulation professionals. Dr. Lexi Buchanan, Director of Simulation and Education, received the Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) and Teresa Roman-Micek, Lead Simulationist, and John Fell, Simulation Technology Specialist, each received the Certified Health Operations Specialist (CHSOS).

Both of the CHSE and CHSOS Certification Programs were developed by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) for individuals interested in demonstrating their commitment to being the best in simulation education.

This collective achievement is result of hard work and dedication, and demonstrates CISL’s continued commitment to being the best in simulation education.

Congratulations for your accomplishments!

July 27

Simulation and Immersive learning techniques used for research in new study highlited in the Pain and Medicine News article "Immersive Training Experience Helps Teach Safe Opioid Prescribing" by Dr. Jordan Newmark.

July 26

David Gaba, MD featured in Stanford Medicine Scope article "Training anesthesiologists to handle emergencies using simulation."

May 25

It is CISL’s distinct pleasure to announce Mary Ayers as one of two recipients of the 16th Annual Inspiring Change Leadership Award winners.

Mary Ayers is a 20+ year employee at Stanford School of Medicine whose efforts and ambition lead her to her current role as CISL’s Director of Operations where she expertly navigates the various challenges of scheduling and operational logistics for the school’s educational efforts.

The award’s rigorous eligibility criteria delineate that nominees must have demonstrated outstanding performance and initiated or led change and innovation affecting an entire work group, department, or multiple departments. What set Ms. Ayers apart was her ability to successfully lead the ILC Scheduling Lean Launch Project by working with Service Excellence to engage EPS administration, CISL team members, and other School of Medicine stakeholders to streamline scheduling processes and reduce variability, errors, and turnaround time for all requests.

On May 25, 2017, Senior Associate Dean, Marcia Cohen formally presented the award to Ms. Ayers commemorating her accomplishments, followed by a celebration attended by colleagues, family and friends. Please join us in extending your personal congratulations to Mary Ayers on the tremendous success she has achieved through her hard work and commitment to excellence.


Dr. Gaba delivers opening remarks at the 10th Annual CISL Symposium.

May 22

10th Annual CISL Symposium 
The 10th Annual CISL Symposium, held on May 22, 2017 at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, brought together like-minded simulation professionals, friends and partners in the simulation community under one roof to learn about and discuss the latest in simulation-based education and research. This year, the event was headlined by keynote speaker Dr. Aaron W. Calhoun, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Univeristy of Louisville, Director, SPARC Program, Norton Children's Hospital who presented on The Intersection of Ethics, Education, and Simulation: Exploring Difficult Issues. The talk touched on a number of ethical questions relating to the deliberate deception to create more realistic scenarios and the use of mannequin death in response to inappropriate learner action and queried when (if ever) these techniques should be applied.

The symposium also featured a series of rapid-Ignite talks that delivered in-depth insights into some of the exciting work being done the field of simulation and how simulation was used to achieve their goals:

  1. Mock Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs)
    Pedro Paulo Tanaka, MD, PhD
  2. Mechanisms Surrounding Unsafe Opioid Prescribing in an SP-based Simulation Module
    Jordan Newmark, MD and Marissa Heirich
  3. De-escalating Angry Caregivers: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Novel Communication Curriculum for Pediatric Residents
    Sarah Hilgenberg, MD
  4. Assessing Cognitive Load in Crisis Simulation
    Louise Wen, MD
  5. Communication Skills Training in Multi-speciality Clinical Fellow: Smoothing Tough Conversations in "High-stakes" Situations|
    Felicia Hui, MD
  6. An Immersive and Simulation-Based Learning Approach to a Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES) Training Course
    Sandra Deane, BCS-S, CCC-SLP and Jennifer Kizner, BCS-S, CCC-SLP
  7. ULTRAfest: A Free POCUS Symposium for Medical Students
    Rwo-Wen (Chloe) Huang, MD
  8. Learner's Emotions in Simulation-based Medical Education
    Tuulikki Keskitalo, PhD
  9. Entrustable Professional Activities for Instructors of Simulation-based Team Learning
    Adrian Marty, MD, MME

Symposium keynote speaker Dr. Aaron Calhoun takes questions from the audience.

An afternoon workshop was also led by Dr. Calhoun who spoke on the topic of Developing a Career in Simulation Research; Strategies for Young Investigators. The presentation centered on the skills needed to move beyond basic questions and develop a career in education research, learn the techniques to explore the assumptions behind research questions and common errors made when designing, executing an disseminating the results of studies. The session also included several break-put sessions consisting of small-group conversations to explore challenges and share actionable tactics.

All of the highlited presentations can be downloaded to view and the entire symposium is available on video (SUNet ID required).

The Center for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning is pleased to announce that it’s 2016 Accomplishments Report is now available online. We invite you to view the report of key events during the past year by the simulation community who create and conduct powerful activities for teaching, learning, and scholarship in our world-class integrated center where modalities of immersive and simulation-based learning exist. 

Milestone changes from the report include:

  • An overview of CISL’s Strategic Goals showcasing ILC’s vast educational simulation activities, including conferences, trainings, bootcamps and research initiatives.
  • ILC user activity data summary, with results for fiscal year 2016.
  • A special feature by Sarah Hilgenberg MD, reflecting on her experiences in the Immersive Learning Center.
  • Resignation of Sandi Feaster from the position of Assistant Dean for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning and the return of Susan Eller, MSN, RN , PhD student to CISL as the new Assistant Dean.
  • New communication efforts, including the new CISL website, thriving Twitter feeds and educational filming projects.

Please visit our Accomplishments website page to download the full PDF version. We hope that you share our pride in CISL's accomplishments and thank you for your continued support.

April 1

Dr. David Gaba Recognized by the American Medical Women’s Association as the Dr. Larry Zaroff Man of Good Conscience Award Recipient (see complete press release below):
The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) honored Dr. David Gaba with the 2017 Dr. Larry Zaroff Man of Good Conscience Award at its 102nd annual meeting award luncheon on April 1, 2017.  This award is presented to a male physician who has been a champion and supporter of women in medicine in the tradition established by Dr. Zaroff.

L to R: AMWA official, Dr. Zaroff’s son and wife, Dr. David Gaba, AMWA official, and Dr. Lo who was also an award recipient.

David M. Gaba, M.D. is Associate Dean for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning as well as Professor (with tenure) of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the Founder and Co-Director of the Simulation Center at Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System where he is also a Staff Physician. Dr. Gaba’s laboratory has worked for more than 30 years on human performance and patient safety issues, applying organizational safety theory to health care. The laboratory invented the modern full-body patient simulator and also first adapted Crew Resource Management training from aviation to healthcare as Crisis Resource Management.  He is a key pioneer in the development of cognitive aids and Emergency Manuals in healthcare. Dr. Gaba has authored over 135 original articles, commentaries, and editorials in various peer-reviewed journals. He has written more than 25 book chapters, and is the lead author of a well-known book Crisis Management in Anesthesiology (1st and 2nd editions). He was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the indexed peer-reviewed journal Simulation in Healthcare.

In the words of his nominator, Dr. Amanda Burden, “Dr. Gaba is truly a man of good conscience and is an ardent and steadfast supporter of women in medicine. He is extraordinarily generous with his knowledge, time, and support, and has served as a mentor and tremendous supporter for me and for many of my colleagues in education, research, and in practice in the fields of medicine, anesthesiology and simulation. I have had the opportunity to work on a number of projects with Dr. Gaba from the time I first met him in 2007. This relationship has grown stronger through his mentorship of my work on various studies, presentations, and federal grants. Throughout our relationship, Dr. Gaba has demonstrated extraordinary commitment and effectiveness as a mentor, especially of women in medicine, and remains constantly available to teach, counsel, and mentor all of us.”

The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is an organization that functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women’s health. We achieve this by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise and mentoring and through building strategic alliances. Founded in 1915, AMWA is the oldest multi-specialty organization of women physicians.  As the vision and voice of women in medicine for nearly a century, AMWA empowers women to lead in improving health for all, within a model that reflects the unique perspective of women. 

Women Mentored by Dr. Gaba

January 29

David Gaba, MD was Presented with Pioneer in Simulation Award from The Society for Simulation in Healthcare 
Official SSH announcement: The Society for Simulation in Healthcare recognizes significant innovation and invention with the Pioneer in Simulation Award.  We are pleased to announce Dr. David Gaba as the 2017 recipient.

Dr. Gaba developed the technology for one of the first human patient simulators; was a critical force in bringing simulation to teamwork in healthcare; and was the founding editor-in-chief of the premier journal for scholarship in simulation, Simulation in Healthcare.

Dr. Gaba was honored during the Opening Plenary Session at the 2017 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, Sunday January 29, 2017.



The Stanford Anesthesia Cognitive Aid Group releases Version 3.1 of the Emergency Manual: Cognitive Aids for Perioperative Critical Events, which contains 23 critical events, as well as Crisis Resource Management principles.

September 15

Susan Eller, MSN, RN, CHSE Appointed New Assistant Dean for Immersive and Simulation-Based Learning
The Center for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning (CISL) at Stanford Medical School has appointed Susan Eller, MSN, RN, CHSE (and PhD in progress!) as the new Assistant Dean for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning.

Susan was the Director of the Immersive Learning Center (ILC) in LKSC from 2012 to 2014 and most recently was the Nurse Manager, Center for Education and Professional Development at Stanford Health Care. She has extensive experience in simulation in healthcare from her time as Director of Interprofessional Education, Simulation Technology and Immersive Learning at the Northwestern University School of Medicine. This background makes her ideal to serve as the Assistant Dean, where she will oversee the operations and staff of CISL and the ILC and will work closely with Dr. Gaba to determining the future course of immersive learning at Stanford Medical School and in Stanford Medicine. Susan will occupy the position formally as of November 14, 2016.

August 31

Immersive Learning Center (ILC) Hosts 1st Annual Open House for New Stanford Medical Students
The Immersive Learning Center launched it's 1st Annual Open House to the Fall 2016 Stanford University entering medical students on Wednesday, August 31 from 2:30-5pm. During the event, students had the opportunity to meet Dr. David Gaba, Associate Dean for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning, were introduced to the ILC's features and services, visited and explored the ILC through engaging and informative presentations, and had the opportunity to ask questions and mingle with staff over refreshments.

July 14

David Gaba, MD Steps Down as SSH Editor-in-Chief
After nearly 11 years of service as founding Editor-in-Chief of the only indexed, peer-reviewed journal on simulation, Simulation in Healthcare published by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, Dr. David Gaba stepped down as Editor-in Chief.

Dr. Gaba’s pioneering leadership helped found the SiH, overseeing its growth as well as creating and maintaining its high editorial standards. Simulation in Healthcare is currently the premier multidisciplinary journal on the topic in the field, published 6 times annually.

As Associate Dean for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning at Stanford School of Medicine, Dr. Gaba will continue to oversee and operate the 28,000 square foot simulation center at Stanford and also as founder and co-director of the Simulation Center at VA Palo Alto.  As a leading simulation educator, Dr. Gaba teaches simulation instructor courses as well as Maintenance of Certification in Anesthesiology courses for experienced anesthesiologists and ACRM courses for anesthesiology residents. Other endeavors include simulation research projects, mentoring junior colleagues from all disciplines and domains in pursuit of their own simulation-based research as well as scholarly writing about patient safety and simulation. 

The SSH has appointed Dr. Mark Scerbo, an Associate Editor for SiH over the last 11 years and Dr. Gaba’s friend & colleague, as the new Editor-in-Chief of the journal. Dr. Gaba will remain on the Editorial Board of SiH and he will occupy a new honorary position as Founding Editor-in-Chief.

April 20

9th Annual CISL Symposium
Keynote Speaker: Jeffrey B. Cooper, Phd, Professor of Anaesthesia, HMS Executive Director, Center for Medical Simulation; April 20, 2016.

April 5

Sandi Feaster Retires as Assistant Dean for the Immersive and Simulation-based Learning Center
It was with mixed emotions that we announced the retirement of Sandi Feaster who stepped down as Assistant Dean for the Immersive and Simulation-based Learning Center and the School of Medicine on April 5, 2016 to move with her husband to Southern California for his work and to attend to an ailing family member. 

After many years in the medical field, Sandi Feaster came to Stanford on February 2003 to work at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital as a Project Director for Operations Excellence. Almost immediately, she met Dr. David Gaba at an anesthesia luncheon meeting. A conversation about simulation was struck and later, in 2006, she accepted the invitation to join him in forming and operating the organization Center for Immersive and Simulation-based Learning (CISL) and in planning for and opening the Goodman Immersive Learning Center facility in the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge. In July 2011 she became Assistant Dean.

As Dr. Gaba noted, "Sandi was a linchpin of the formation of CISL and its successful growth for more than a decade. We hope to recruit an outstanding individual to serve as the new Assistant Dean but she left some mighty big shoes to fill! Her presence will be sorely missed throughout CISL and the entire Stanford community and we wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors."  


ILC Innovation Foundry Opens
This year, the Immersive Learning Center launched the CISL Innovation Foundry (the name was borrowed from a similar activity at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Here, staff, faculty, residents, and students alike, can brainstorm and consult with colleagues and other experts to generate and refine ideas. They can tinker, test, prepare, and create usable tools and turn their visions into inspiring new innovations. We have already seen some great projects come to life!

January 16-20

Sarah Hilgenbert, MD Recipient of Novice Research Grant
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Sarah Hilgenberg, Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford School of Medicine, received a $5,000 Novice Research Grant from the Society for Simulation in Healthcare for her proposal entitled, De-escalating Angry Caregivers: RCT for Pediatric Trainees using an SP Curriculum.  Her award will be announced at the 2016 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), in San Diego, January 16-20.


May 29

David Gaba, MD Quoted In US News And World Report
Dr. Gaba is quoted in the US News and World Report May 20, 2015 article, "Gaming the System".

David Gaba, MD Receives the 2015 Bernard H. Eliasberg Award
Presented in recognition of Dr. Gaba's outstanding contributions to the field of Anesthesiology.

May 13

8th Annual CISL Symposium
Keynote Speaker: Gayle Gilva-McConvey, Director of Professional Skills Teaching & Assessment from Eastern Virginia Medical School, May 13, 2015.

April 23-26

WGEA 2015
Andrew Nevins, MD, Irina M. Russell, PhD, Sandra J. Feaster, RN, MBA, Karen Thomson Hall, Kriuthiga Nandagopal, PhD, and David Gaba, MD, presented a poster entitled, "The value of consistency: Exploring Trends in 10 Years' Worth of Data on Clinical Readiness" at the WGEA Conference in San Diego, CA on April 23-26, 2015.

January 10-14

IMSH 2015
CISL Associate Dean, David Gaba, MD, ccongratulates the following CISL Colleagues for presenting at the 2015 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH). Stanford University School of Medicine had over 25 members present on various topcis in the field of simulation. Please see below a list of faculty, trainees, staff, and alumni who taught workshops, gave presentations or presented posters:

Julie Arafeh, Larry Chu, Ruth Fanning, Sandi Feaster, Janene Fuerch-Hogan, Sara Goldhaber-Fiebert, Louis Halamek, Kyle Harrison, Anita Honkanen, Steve Howard, Nikita Joshi, James Lau, Jennifer Lee, Paul Mohabir, Teresa Roman-Micek Aleksandra Sarcevic, Cynthia Shum, Louise Wen, Nicole Yamada, Charles Lei, Vivian Lei, Michael Mayette, and Ankeet Udani (we apologize if anyone was left off this list).

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