WISER holds an International Journal Club that meets monthly to discusses simulation education and the latest research. The Journal Club began in November 2011 with its two founding members WISER and SimTiki, the simulation center at the University of Hawaii. The Journal Club currently has 15 participants for this meeting.
Dr. Hiroko Iwashita was asked to give her perspective on the journal club.
-What is the International Journal Club?
This is a monthly web meeting that centers on the international visiting fellows at WISER and SimTiki in Hawaii. It began November 2011 because of an interest in reviewing the simulation literature and active exchanges by Korean and Japanese fellows at both institutions. The purposes of the journal club are 1) to have a greater understanding of simulation-based medical education (SBME), 2) to critique and discuss study design of current simulation research and propose potential research designs for future studies, and 3) to have an opportunity to present and discuss in English. Each institution chooses an article related to SBME and gives a 15 minute slide presentation followed by discussion. Dr. Ben Berg, director of SimTiki and Dr. Paul Phrampus, director of WISER facilitate the journal club. Initially only two sites participated, but the National University of Malaysia and Tokyo Jikei Medical University have joined the journal club meeting for a total of four sites with more than 15 participants.
-How do you feel about the Journal Club?
I am happy to meet regular members and to meet new members. We have the same questions and problems in each country: how to create a simulation scenario, how to assess a trainee performance, how to evaluate an education effect, how to debrief, and how to design research. Through this journal club, we can share ideas, opinions, and experiences. Also we can understand cultural differences. Our current conditions are almost the same but our backgrounds are very different. Especially when it comes to communication, the effects of culture on human behavior always needs to be considered.
One of challenges for me is to critically evaluate simulation research. When I read an article, I tend to praise and accept it with no doubt. I think that is because of not only personality, but the lack of knowledge and point of view. What is the question? What point is being discussed? How has opinion changed, and how could it changed? Our colleague’s and facilitator’s comments help me realize where question is and give me a chance to learn and think again. Another difficulty is English. For me, an English speaker as a second language, presentation and discussion in English are tough. Even though I control the meeting so that only one person speaks at a time, I still miss some words and get confused or can't construct my opinion promptly. I know I need practice, practice, practice and receive feedback after sufficient preparation. It is like simulation. At WISER, I have a pre-meeting with my colleagues and Dr. Phrampus before Journal Club.
-Do you feel that the Journal Club is going well?
Yes, I think so. It is developing. At the beginning, we had several issues. One was technical problems with the internet connections. First we used Skype between SimTiki and WISER, and it worked well. However, since we started to use GoToMeeting due to connecting with more than two sites, there were problems: delays and pauses due to slow network speed, problems with sounds, and unclear or loss of pictures. But now, thanks to IT specialists from each site, the technical condition has been getting better. Another issue is scheduling. There is a 13 hour time difference between Pittsburgh and Tokyo. Also all of us are busy, especially both directors. It has been decided that we meet on the second Thursday 2pm in Hawaii, but it might be changed if a majority of fellows or facilitators can’t be there. Furthermore, the schedule is put on the SimTiki web site and we can get the previous articles and slides and articles for the upcoming meeting.
-What is the prospect of Journal Club in the future?
I would like to attend this journal club from Japan after my fellowship. And we will be happy to have the people in the other countries join us. I also hope we could collaborate with them in international research.