ACEP18 bore witness to an incredible SimWars competitions! With creative cases, sharp competitors, and hilarious actors, this year’s contest delivered a new level of simulation competition.

The sim faculty, who wrote the cases, drew inspiration from real-life situations in which they have practiced: from working with difficult neurosurgeons to treating patients whose mouths are wired shut. The winners of this year’s competition came from Albert Einstein Jacobi/Montefiore, a.k.a. “Code Panda!” 

We were astounded by the quality of simulation scenarios. The cases used this year were both very  interesting and uniquely challenging. From providing telemedicine for researchers on an island thousands of  miles off the coast of California to drilling burr holes to decompress the cranium to restricting the senses or the use of an arm of team members, this competition had it all.

To add a little humor, the moderators provided their own sound effects (suction, drilling, cracking bones, patient sounds, etc.). The high production value of the competition truly augmented the entire experience. Cameras from multiple angles captured and streamed live video of the participants onto large projectors. Audience polling was used to vote for the winner of each round. Learning points were tweeted by the faculty (go check them out at @EMSimWars) so that students, residents, and attendings around the world could benefit.

When we heard the theme for this year’s SIMWars was “Something’s Missing,” we knew that we were in for a treat. However, what we didn’t expect was that one of the cases would have a missing doctor.

In the world of advancements in technology, telemedicine is becoming an increasingly used resource. This case in particular stood out to us: 3 researchers are working on an uninhabited island thousands of  miles off the coast of California in the Pacific Ocean when 2 of them start to have medical issues. The simulation team sat outside the ballroom, unable to see the patients; they performed the entire case via a phone call. They needed to diagnose factitious disorder, a dislocated patella, and teach the caller how to reduce the patella - all done over the phone. Once completed, a loud yelp by the actor that could be heard in the meeting rooms across the hall confirmed reduction of the patella! The case did a wonderful job of depicting the real-life difficulties of modern medicine, while testing the team’s ability to work together to handle a uniquely difficult situation.

The EMRA Simulation Committee would like to thank the SIMWars co-chairs Chris Sampson, MD, FACEP (University of Missouri-Columbia) and Scott Goldberg, MD, FACEP (Brigham and Women’s), simulation faculty, and judges who wrote the cases, organized the event, and provided learning points for participants. Congratulations to team Code Panda and the rest of the teams who participated. 

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