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Coaching the Debriefer: Peer Coaching to Improve Debriefing Quality in Simulation Programs

Cheng, Adam MD, FRCPC, FAAP; Grant, Vincent MD, FRCPC; Huffman, James MD, FRCPC; Burgess, Gavin MD, FRCPC; Szyld, Demian MD; Robinson, Traci RN; Eppich, Walter MD, MEd

Simulation in Healthcare: The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare: October 2017 - Volume 12 - Issue 5 - p 319–325
doi: 10.1097/SIH.0000000000000232
Concepts and Commentary

Summary Statement: Formal faculty development programs for simulation educators are costly and time-consuming. Peer coaching integrated into the teaching flow can enhance an educator's debriefing skills. We provide a practical guide for the who, what, when, where, why, and how of peer coaching for debriefing in simulation-based education. Peer coaching offers advantages such as psychological safety and team building, and it can benefit both the educator who is receiving feedback and the coach who is providing it. A feedback form for effective peer coaching includes the following: (1) psychological safety, (2) framework, (3) method/strategy, (4) content, (5) learner centeredness, (6) co-facilitation, (7) time management, (8) difficult situations, (9) debriefing adjuncts, and (10) individual style and experience. Institutional backing of peer coaching programs can facilitate implementation and sustainability. Program leaders should communicate the need and benefits, establish program goals, and provide assessment tools, training, structure, and evaluation to optimize chances of success.

From the Departments of Pediatrics (A.C., V.C., G.B.) and Emergency Medicine (J.H.), Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada; Department of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Center for Medical Simulation, Boston, MA, USA (D.S.), Alberta Children's Hospital (T.R.), Calgary, AB, Canada; and Department of Pediatrics and Medical Education (W.E.), Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Reprints: Adam Cheng, MD, FRCPC, FAAP, Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, AB, Canada T3B 6A8 (e-mail:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2017 Society for Simulation in Healthcare