They may have come up a single point short of winning the championship, but a group of UMKC School of Medicine students made quite an impression in the annual SimWars competition Sept. 6 at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s Great Plains Region Research Forum in Kansas City.
It was the third year that UMKC School of Medicine has competed in SimWars and the second year in a row that the School has had two teams in the competition. The contest places four-person teams in an emergency patient scenario in which they must work together to assess the patient, intervene and manage a medical emergency working on a human simulator. Judges review teamwork, communication and clinical decision-making skills.
Emily Hillman, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine and assistant program director and clerkship director for emergency medicine, said the team of Brian Weber, Katelyn Harris, Elizabeth Black and Jacob Arnold made naming a winner a difficult decision for the judges.
A team of Dylan Wyatt, Grace Ortman, Amanda Augustine and Janessa Pennington took part in the competition and Payal Patel and Omar Karadghy were the School’s alternates. The teams are made up of fourth, fifth and sixth-year student members of the School’s Emergency Medicine Interest Group.
“They did an awesome job,” Hillman said. “They’ve shown steady improvement every year. The judges even commented on how they have seen the progress and how impressed they were with the students’ performances.”
Hillman said Megan Litzau, who served as president of the EM interest group, was unable to compete because of out-of-town electives but played an integral role in planning weekly training sessions and organizing the teams. Students practiced twice a week from July through September with faculty and residents assisting in the training.
Hillman said the emergency medicine student group has grown in recent years and interest in being a part of the SimWars competition has increased as well.
The competition takes place each year during the regional research forum. This year’s meetings, with a theme of “Mass Disasters,” drew more than 100 people to Kansas City. The forum is designed to increase student, resident, and attending awareness of academic emergency medicine and provide an opportunity to present and discuss original research and other developments that affect clinical practice and education. A medical student forum also offered a panel discussion with regional program directors.
“It was a big deal that we had the opportunity to host this year’s meeting,” Hillman said.