Neurocritical Care

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 522–533 | Cite as

Simulation in Neurocritical Care: Past, Present, and Future

  • Nicholas A. MorrisEmail author
  • Barry M. Czeisler
  • Aarti Sarwal
Review Article


Simulation-based medical education is a technique that leverages adult learning theory to train healthcare professionals by recreating real-world scenarios in an interactive way. It allows learners to emotionally engage in the assessment and management of critically ill patients without putting patients at risk. Learners are encouraged to work at the edge of their expertise to promote growth and are provided with feedback to nurture development. Thus, the training is targeted to the learner, not the patient. Despite its origins as a teaching tool for neurological diseases, simulation-based medical education has been historically abandoned by neurocritical care educators. In contrast, other critical care educators have embraced the technique and built an impressive foundation of literature supporting its use. Slowly, neurocritical care educators have started experimenting with simulation-based medical education and sharing their results. In this review, we will investigate the historical origins of simulation in the neurosciences, the conceptual framework supporting the technique, current applications, and future directions.


Simulation Education Critical care Neurocritical care 



The authors would like to thank Demian Szyld, MD, EdM who helped inspire this review.

Author Contribution

NAM was involved in all aspects of the manuscript including conception and design, acquisition of data, analysis, interpretation, and drafting. BMC was involved in the conception and design of the manuscript, as well as critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. AS was involved in the conception and design of the manuscript, as well as critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors made a substantial contribution to the conception and design, drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content, and approved the version to be published.

Source of support

No funding.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Morris reports the Faculty Innovation in Education Award from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature and Neurocritical Care Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas A. Morris
    • 1
    • 4
    Email author
  • Barry M. Czeisler
    • 2
  • Aarti Sarwal
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Program in TraumaUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Neurology and NeurosurgeryNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyWake Forest School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA
  4. 4.Division of Neurocritical Care and Emergency NeurologyUniversity of Maryland Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA

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