C14 – Simulation 101: Try Out Virtual Reality and Simulation in Psychiatry and Learn Best Practices

C14 – Simulation 101: Try Out Virtual Reality and Simulation in Psychiatry and Learn Best Practices

Saturday, Oct. 29
14:30 – 16:30 (2 hrs)
Meeting Room: Sheraton Hall E (Lower Concourse)
Stephanie Sliekers*, MEd; Fabienne Hargreaves, MA; Michael Mak, MD, FRCPC

CanMEDS Roles:

  1. Medical Expert
  2. Scholar
  3. Communicator

At the end of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Demonstrate two simulations related to assessment of suicide, to understand best practices in simulation within psychiatry; 2) Integrate the potential of simulation into their own contexts and lifelong learning; and 3) Assess and reflect on their performance with the simulation through our application of the PEARLS Healthcare Debriefing Tool.

Simulation is an innovative approach that provides learners with opportunities to practise clinical skills in a safe environment before taking them into the real world; it is an effective learning modality that enhances attitudes, skills, knowledge, and behaviours within psychiatry. Participants in this interactive and experiential session will learn how simulation was used to support decision making in suicide assessment, a challenging, high-risk area. Participants will engage in two simulations, both which respond dynamically and in real time to participant decisions and build on complexity: (1) a virtual reality (VR)-gamified suicide assessment scenario with a virtual avatar patient (VR technology will be provided by course instructors), and (2) a live deteriorating patient simulation (DPS; Wiseman & Snell, 2008), where actors/facilitators portray a patient who improves or deteriorates across time. This will be followed by facilitated debrief, using PEARLS. Debriefing is a critical component of transferring the experiential learning of the simulation into the real-world contexts of the learners.

Format: Brief overview of simulation in psychiatry (10 minutes). Experiential simulation 1: VR / debrief / questions (40 minutes). Experiential simulation 2: DPS / de-brief / questions (40 minutes). Overview of the PEARLS debrief model (10 minutes). Discussion and questions (20 minutes).


  1. Piot MA, Dechartres A, Attoe C, et al. Simulation in psychiatry for medical doctors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Med Educ 2020;54:696–708.
  2. Eppich W, Cheng A. Promoting Excellence and Reflective Learning in Simulation (PEARLS): development and rationale for a blended approach to health care simulation debriefing. Simul Healthc 2015;10:106–15.