Anesthesia in medical school: A simulation-based curriculum proposal

Keywords: Anesthesia, Medical school, Curriculum, Simulation, Kirkpatrick levels, COVID-19


Introduction: Most medical students are not familiar with Anesthesiology, as it is infrequently addressed properly in medical school curricula. However, anesthesiology skills are widely practiced across specialties and commonly performed by general practitioners. Currently, anesthesia curricula are often based on shadowing and lectures without emphasizing relevant skills, behaviors, and attitudes, whereas simulation-based curricula enable a holistic evaluation of the trainee.

Objective: To implement and assess the perceptions of students and professors of a novel simulation-based anesthesiology curriculum.

Methods: A descriptive study was planned for evaluating the new proposal. A simulation-based 3-week curriculum was organized using a blended course with skill laboratories. We designed flipped classroom-based lectures (2 weeks) combined with activities using standardized patients, manikins, and hybrid scenarios (1 week). After each activity, feedback was given by an anesthesiologist, as well as individual grading and a survey based on the Kirkpatrick levels.

Results: From June to November 2020, 53 students were enrolled in the clerkship. Each week, every group of 6-8 students was assigned to the same specialist to perform the activities and track individual progress. The response rate of the survey was 83%. Across the levels of Kirkpatrick, there was an excellent opinion of the activities, as well as a high similarity between the perception of both students and professors.

Conclusion: Our simulation-based curriculum, which was highly appraised by students and professors, was found to be feasible, appealing, and offered a good introduction to the principles and practices of anesthesiology to medical students.


Robertson EM, Henschke SJ, Friesen J, Tsui BC. Survey of pre-clerkship medical students' knowledge and perceptions of anesthesiology at one Canadian university. Can J Anaesth. 2015;62(5):550-2. doi:

Overton MJ, Smith NA. Anaesthesia priorities for Australian and New Zealand medical school curricula: a Delphi consensus of academic anaesthetists. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. 2015;43(1):51-8. doi:

Busch F, Weissenbacher A, Stehr SN, Piegeler T, Hempel G. Teaching Practical Skills in Anesthesia, Intensive Care, Emergency and Pain Medicine—What Is Relevant for Medical Students? Results of a German National Survey of Nearly 3000 Anesthesiologists. Healthcare. 2022;10,2260. doi:

Smith A, Carey C, Sadler J, Smith H, Stephens R, Frith C. Undergraduate education in anesthesia, intensive care, pain, and perioperative medicine: The development of a national curriculum framework. Med Teach. 2019;41(3):340-6. doi:

Smith A, Mannion S, Iohom G. Irish Medical Students Knowledge and Perception of Anaesthesia. Education in Medicine Journal. 2013;5(2):e83-8. doi:

Tim E, Rasanathan K. Primary Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19e Eds. Dennis Kasper, et al. McGraw Hill, 2014. Available at:

Greene AK, Zurakowski D, Puder M, Thompson K. Determining the need for simulated training of invasive procedures. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2006;11(1):41-9. doi:

Alsoufi A, Alsuyihili A, Msherghi A, Elhadi A, Atiyah H, Ashini A, et al. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on medical education: Medical students' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding electronic learning. PLoS One. 2020;15(11):e0242905. doi:

Sneyd JR, Mathoulin SE, O'Sullivan EP, So VC, Roberts FR, Paul AA, et al. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on anesthesia trainees and their training. Br J Anaesth. 2020;125(4):450-5. doi:

Frank JR, Snell LS, Cate OT, Holmboe ES, Carraccio C, Swing SR, et al. Competency-based medical education: theory to practice. Medical Teacher. 2010;32(8):638-45. doi:

Sawaya RD, Mrad S, Rajha E, Saleh R, Rice J. Simulation-based curriculum development: lessons learnt in Global Health education. BMC Med Educ. 2021:21(33). doi:

Smith AF, Sadler J, Carey C. Anaesthesia and the undergraduate medical curriculum. Brit J Anaesth. 2018;21(5):993-6. doi:

Kolb DA. Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. 2nd. ed. New Jersey: Pearson education; 2015.

Ausubel DP. Psychology of Meaningful Verbal Learning: an introduction to school learning. New York: Grune & Stratton; 1963.

Van Merriënboer J. The Four-Component Instructional Design Model An Overview of its Main Design Principles. School of Health Professions Education. 2019:3-7. Available at:

Rouse DN. Employing Kirkpatrick's evaluation framework to determine the effectiveness of health information management courses and programs. Perspectives in health information management vol. 8,Spring 1c. 1 Apr. 2011

Provvidenza C, Townley A, Wincentak J, Peacocke S, Kingsnorth S. Building knowledge translation competency in a community-based hospital: a practice-informed curriculum for healthcare providers, researchers, and leadership. Implement Sci. 2020;15(1):54. doi:

Miller DG, Pierson L, Doernberg S. The Role of Medical Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Ann Intern Med. 2020;173(2):145-146. doi:

Mortagy M, Abdelhameed A, Sexton P, Olken M, Hegazy MT, Gawad MA, et al. Online medical education in Egypt during the COVID-19 pandemic: a nationwide assessment of medical students' usage and perceptions. BMC Med Educ. 2022;22(1):218. doi:

Bączek M, Zagańczyk-Bączek M, Szpringer M, Jaroszyński A, Wożakowska-Kapłon B. Students' perception of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic: A survey study of Polish medical students. Medicine (Baltimore). 2021;100(7):e24821. doi:

Al-Balas M, Al-Balas HI, Jaber HM, Obeidat K, Al-Balas H, Aborajooh EA, et al. Distance learning in clinical medical education amid COVID-19 pandemic in Jordan: current situation, challenges, and perspectives. BMC Med Educ. 2020;20(1):341. doi:

Tabatabaeichehr M, Babaei S, Dartomi M, Alesheikh P, Tabatabaee A, Mortazavi H, et al. Medical students’ satisfaction level with e-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and its related factors: a systematic review. J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2022;19:37. doi:

Li W, Gillies R, He M, Wu C, Liu S, Gong Z, et al. Barriers and facilitators to online medical and nursing education during the COVID-19 pandemic: perspectives from international students from low- and middle-income countries and their teaching staff. Hum Resour Health. 2021;19(1):64. doi:

Crewdson K, Lockey DJ, Røislien J, Lossius HM, Rehn M. The success of pre-hospital tracheal intubation by different pre-hospital providers: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis. Crit Care. 2017;21(1):31. doi:

Suntai Z, Won CR, Noh H. Access Barrier in Rural Older Adults' Use of Pain Management and Palliative Care Services: A Systematic Review. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2021;38(5):494-502. doi:

Bulger EM, May S, Kerby JD, Emerson S, Stiell IG, Schreiber MA, et al. Out-of-hospital hypertonic resuscitation after traumatic hypovolemic shock: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Ann Surg. 2011;253(3):431-41. doi:

How to Cite
Ferrer Zaccaro LE, Jaramillo-Rincón SX, Callegari S, Gómez-Salgado C. Anesthesia in medical school: A simulation-based curriculum proposal. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2023 May 24 [cited 2024 Jun. 17];51(4). Available from:


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Ferrer Zaccaro LE, Jaramillo-Rincón SX, Callegari S, Gómez-Salgado C. Anesthesia in medical school: A simulation-based curriculum proposal. Colomb. J. Anesthesiol. [Internet]. 2023 May 24 [cited 2024 Jun. 17];51(4). Available from:


Article metrics
Abstract views
Galley vies
PDF Views
HTML views
Other views
QR Code

Some similar items: