Background In the past few years, there has been rapid growth in the number of simulation fellowships for physicians in the United States and Canada, with the objective of producing faculty with expertise and leadership training in medical simulation. Relatively little is known about the collective content and structure of these new fellowship opportunities. Objective We sought to identify a common set of core curricular elements among existing simulation fellowships and to obtain demographic background information on participants and leadership. Methods We designed a web-based survey and circulated it to simulation fellowship directors in the United States and Canada. The questions explored aspects of the fellowship curriculum. A grounded theory approach was used to qualitatively analyze fellowship goals and objectives. Results Of the 29 program directors surveyed, 23 responded (79%). The most commonly listed goals and objectives were to increase skills in simulation curriculum development, simulation operations and training environment setup, research, educational theory, administration, and debriefing. The majority of the responding fellowship directors (17 of 22, 77%) indicated that a set of consensus national guidelines would benefit their fellowship program. Conclusions Simulation fellowships are experiencing a period of rapid growth. Development of a common set of program guidelines is a widely shared objective among fellowship directors.
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