Establishing a convention for acting in healthcare simulation: Merging art and science

Jill S. Sanko, Ilya Shekhter, Richard R. Kyle, Stephen Di Benedetto, David J. Birnbach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Among the most powerful tools available to simulation instructors is a confederate. Although technical and logical realism is dictated by the simulation platform and setting, the quality of role playing by confederates strongly determines psychological or emotional fidelity of simulation. The highest level of realism, however, is achieved when the confederates are properly trained. Theater and acting methodology can provide simulation educators a framework from which to establish an acting convention specific to the discipline of healthcare simulation. This report attempts to examine simulation through the lens of theater arts and represents an opinion on acting in healthcare simulation for both simulation educators and confederates. It aims to refine the practice of simulation by embracing the lessons of the theater community. Although the application of these approaches in healthcare education has been described in the literature, a systematic way of organizing, publicizing, or documenting the acting within healthcare simulation has never been completed. Therefore, we attempt, for the first time, to take on this challenge and create a resource, which infuses theater arts into the practice of healthcare simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-220
Number of pages6
JournalSimulation in Healthcare
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2013


  • Acting
  • Best practices
  • Education
  • Engagement of attention
  • Simulation
  • Simulation actors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Epidemiology
  • Education
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Medicine(all)


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