ESAIC Simulation Training

At the ESAIC, we believe hi-fidelity simulation training to be a valuable teaching tool for every stage in an anaesthetist’s career. Although an initial investment can be expensive, simulation more than makes up for the costs as it can develop a robust and safer practice that will save money in the long term.

Effective simulation requires so much more than a mannikin and space to practice. We advocate for professional simulation faculty who have a firm understanding of the educational principles, which are particular to developing practical training and the necessary debriefing skills. This way, we ensure that participants can make the best use of what they have learned so they can improve in their daily practice.

ESAIC Simulation Committee

The ESAIC Simulation Committee is active in building bridges, not only with other committees within the ESAIC but also between centres all over Europe. The committee is comprised of some of the most experienced simulation experts in Europe. It includes members who are directors at several key simulation centres, and some are past presidents of SESAM. It is led by the Chair, Doris Østergaard. Doris is a Professor in Medical Education and Simulation at the University of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen Academy for Medical Education and Simulation (CAMES) and a member of the Danish National Council for Education of Doctors. She has direct experience in implementing simulation-based training in the national training program for anaesthesiologists in Denmark. 

The committee works to promote the effectiveness of simulation training and show how it can be integrated into a national anaesthesiology curriculum. To achieve this, it will focus on an approach that includes: 

  • Research and Publication 
  • Education 
  • Networking and Collaboration 

Simulation is an interactive learning method where one can apply, learn and train knowledge and skills in specific situations. It also allows for training of nontechnical competencies, which are social and cognitive skills, such as communication, collaboration, leadership, situational awareness and decision-making. Of note, anaesthesiologists have been pioneers in the use of high-fidelity mannequins to study human factors and improve crisis resources management skills for critical situations.1 picture1ps


Members of the Simulation Committee support the SimLab that takes place every year at Euroanaesthesia. Here delegates have a chance to sign up to take part in simulation scenarios using high-fidelity manikins and receive debriefing from experienced simulation faculty.  


Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Crisis Simulation Masterclass: Helsinki Declaration through High-Fidelity Simulation 

ESAIC runs an annual Simulation Masterclass. The masterclass is divided into two sessions over 2 days, with interactive elements, including five simulation cases. These will include Intensive Care and Theatre settings. Previous editions of this event have been run online. In 2023 we will run this masterclass face2face in Grenoble, France. You can read about the previous edition here. 

SESAM – The Society for Simulation in Europe 

Recently the ESAIC Simulation Committee signed an agreement with The Society for Simulation in Europe, SESAM. 

SESAM’s mission is to encourage and support the use of simulation in healthcare for the purpose of training and research. They are not affiliated with any medical or other speciality. Members have a wide and varied background within healthcare and medical education, but all with an interest and passion in medical simulation. 

The Simulation Committee strategy aligned clearly with SESAM’s mission. They will collaborate to promote the use of simulation and devise research to further understand the effectiveness and best use of this unique teaching methodology. 

The long term vision of this collaboration is to facilitate the implementation of simulation-based training for trainees in different countries across Europe. In addition, the intention is to describe the benefit of simulation as an educational method and share where it could be used best, based on the European Curriculum for specialist training in anaesthesiology. 

ESAIC and SESAM are currently working in collaboration with the Romanian Society of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care (SRATI) to develop faculty for hi-fidelity simulation and to work towards a national curriculum for simulation training for their anaesthesia trainees.  

What is the status of Simulation-Based Education Training (SBET) in Europe? 

The European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) instituted the ESAIC Simulation Committee to improve the use of SBET in anaesthesiology across Europe. The Simulation Committee decided to conduct a survey to establish an inventory of the current regulatory policies, recommendations, implementation and use of SBET in national anaesthesiology/ intensive care medicine residency training curricula in all countries that are members of the ESAIC. This is the first survey done of this kind and is of immense value for informing the strategy of the committee’s work.  

Read the results of this survey here.  

Read the Editorial here 

The majority of the countries that took part in the survey used high-fidelity simulation, however, there is much diversity in how SBET is organised at a national level, the types of training that are run and the levels of experience between simulation training centres.  

The findings indicate that there are significant differences and disparities with regard to the implementation of and accessibility to SBET. These discrepancies are observed between countries and amongst individual national training centres within some countries. The data further suggest that only five of the responding countries have reached an adequate and widespread implementation of high-fidelity simulation training. Of note, this educational method seems restricted to large centres in approximately one-third of the responding countries. It is only marginal or very limited in the remaining majority of centres. Overall, the use of procedural simulation seems to be slightly more widespread than high-fidelity simulation. Finally, important differences are observed between countries in terms of duration, regulations and organisational aspects of residency training.2,3 

The Simulation Committee is now working to establish guidance on how SBET can be integrated into residency training curricula across Europe.  

Committee members recently took part in an Utstein meeting to establish the foundation for integrating SBET into the anaesthesiology training curriculum for residents. This work will allow countries that wish to implement this change to have guidelines and recommendations on how to do this practically. Watch this space for more information about this topic.


  1. Gaba DM, Howard SK, Fish KJ, et al. Simulation-based training in Anesthesia Crisis Resource Management (ACRM): a decade of experience. Simul Gaming 2001; 32:175–193. 
  2. De Hert, Stefan. European simulation-based education and training in anaesthesiology and intensive care: still a long way to go?. European Journal of Anaesthesiology: June 2022 – Volume 39 – Issue 6 – p 487-488 
  3. Savoldelli GL, Østergaard D. Simulation-based education and training in anaesthesia during residency in Europe: where are we now? A survey conducted by the European Society of Anaesthesiolohy and Intensive Care Simulation Committee. Eur J Anaesthesiol 2022; 39:559–569.