January 18, 2024By Teresa Gore

UPMC’s WISER Sim Program Develops Healthcare Simulation Professionals

The Winter Institute for Simulation Education and Research (WISER) is a world-class multidisciplinary healthcare simulation training and research facility from the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. WISER’s mission is to conduct research and training programs that utilize clinical simulation-based education to increase patient safety at the UPMC and its affiliates. UPMC WISER is directed by Dr. Paul Phrampus, the Medical Director of Patient Safety at UPMC, and a professor for the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Anesthesiology at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. This HealthySimulation.com article will highlight WISER Academy and the Visiting Scholars Program.

In addition to improving patient safety, WISER is dedicated to the advancement of healthcare simulation programs to promote education, mentorship, systems design, and research to enhance the high-quality delivery of healthcare. To achieve this outcome, WISER works to enhance patient safety through state-of-the-art educational and assessment methodologies and techniques. The facility also creates innovative education programs for a variety of learners, ranging from students to practicing healthcare professionals.

Another WISER objective is to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery through the incorporation of modern educational and assessment methods through its integration with the UPMC Health System. One way the facility works to achieve this is to research the use of healthcare simulation and other instructional and assessment methods by providing infrastructure and serving as a collaborative partner. Together, these goals help WISER contribute to the development, education, and mentorship of future generations of healthcare simulation educators and researchers interested in medical simulation programs.

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WISER Academy

WISER offers several courses and programs to help simulation community members, including simulation educators, operations specialists, and administrators improve their skills. These courses are designed to help these professionals take their simulation training to the next level.


The iSim course is a two-day internationally renowned program created collaboratively between WISER and the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education at the University of Miami. This program is designed as an introduction to fundamental skills and abilities for delivering simulation-based healthcare education. Through a variety of techniques and technologies, the program emphasizes hands-on activities and active participation to maximize simulation-based instruction skill acquisition. The primary audience for this course is healthcare educators wishing to improve their skills as instructors in simulation education.

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Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist Training Program (TechSim): Online (TechSim OL) and Onsite (TechSim OS)

The Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist Training Program (TechSim) courses are designed to educate healthcare simulation operations specialists on the key tasks associated with the daily operations and maintenance of a simulation center. TechSim consists of two course options. TechSim Online and TechSim Onsite. Each course is mapped to the SSH CHSOS Examination Blueprint.

The TechSim Online program offers up to 8 CPD credits for those already CHSOS or CHSE certified. TechSim Online consists of over 40 detailed topics with lectures, content, videos, and forms related to the job functionality of the healthcare simulation operations specialist. In the TechSim Onsite program, participants will have access to all the course content of TechSim Online and the opportunity to experience 1.5 days of onsite, hands-on education at WISER. Participants will experience additional course content related to CHSOS, workshops, and shadow CHSOS at WISER. This program qualifies for 29 CPD credits towards your CHSOS or CHSE certifications.

These TechSim programs are aligned with the CHSOS Examination Blueprint and qualify for SSH Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Credits. The topics include:

  • Concepts in Healthcare
  • Healthcare Simulation Practices
  • Roles and Responsibilities of Simulation Operations Specialist
  • Understanding Simulation Terminology
  • Supply and Inventory Management
  • Repair and Maintenance
  • Audio Visual Considerations
  • IT ConsiderationsHey
  • The Simulation Operations Specialist Role in Curriculum Development Process
  • Role of the Simulation Operations Specialist in Debriefing
  • Calendar Management
  • Scenario Design
  • Certification Considerations

View the LEARN CE/CME Platform Webinar Mastering Learning Engagement: The Psychological Contract of Medical Simulation to learn more!

WISER Visiting Scholars Programs

WISER is one of the first simulation centers to receive accreditation from the SSH for the Fellowship program. WISER is now one of only a few centers in the world accredited by SSH in all five specialty areas. WISER’s Fellowship Program began in 2005 and has evolved dramatically since its inception. Over its nearly twenty years, the Fellowship Program has accepted Simulationists from all over the world, with ten countries and three continents represented. There are currently three WISER visiting scholars programs: fellowship, preceptorship, and professional development.

WISER allows its Fellows to advance their use of healthcare simulation and education to improve patient safety, enhance education programs, engage in mentorship, understand systems design, and conduct meaningful research. WISER supports over 2,000 classes annually, which allows the Fellows ample opportunity to observe live classes in academia and organizational patient safety initiatives. The fellows have highly experienced and accomplished simulation experts to serve as mentors and faculty. The Fellowship Program has access to a variety of different mentors who are subject-matter experts in simulation operations, simulation administration, IT, curriculum development, research, assessment, debriefing, and facilitation.

The Fellowship Program is designed for individuals who would like to participate in a one to two year curriculum that includes the WISER Foundation, electives, workshops, course observations, and a scholarly project. Subject matter experts will address various topics, including but not limited to simulation center operations, informational technology, administration, and curriculum development. During the fellowship program, WISER provides support with project conceptualization and completion, and projects often include research, curriculum development, or a combination of topics. By working closely with WISER’s experts, program participants will receive personalized attention and will integrate into WISER’s network of simulation education expertise. The Preceptorship Program is designed for individuals who would like to participate in a structured one to 11-month curriculum that includes the WISER Foundation, electives, workshops, and course observations. Similarly, during this program, a variety of topics will be addressed by subject matter experts, including but not limited to simulation center operations, informational technology, administration, and curriculum development. The Professional Development Program is meant for individuals who would like to participate in a structured curriculum that includes the WISER Foundation, electives, and course observations. A variety of topics will also be addressed by subject matter experts during this program. Topics may include simulation center operations, informational technology, administration, and curriculum development.

Latest UPMC WISER News

The WISER staff and faculty have had numerous presentations accepted as learning content at IMSH 2024. WISER will be located at booth 1038 in the IMSH exhibit hall to allow for making new simulation friends and networking with our colleagues. Please stop by WISER at booth 1038 to say hi and learn more about the work being accomplished! The WISER team has grown over the past few months with the addition of several new staff members to the team. WISER is excited to introduce our most recent administrative and IT hires to address the increase in demand for simulation and simulation support. Emily Kane and Taylor Ray-Jetter have joined the team as Administrative Assistants, and Thomas Lalor is currently the new Director of Administration. The IT team has expanded with the introduction of Loyal Houston as our newest PC Consultant!

Learn More About WISER!

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