Designs that mimic low-resource settings to help prepare students for obstacles abroad – SUGAR solution

What if we could use simulation designed to mimic low-resource setting to prepare residents for common physical and emotional obstacles encountered abroad? A new curriculum is giving students cases they may encounter in developing countries.

This global health simulation curriculum, Simulation Use for Global Away Rotations (SUGAR), was co-developed by Assistant Professor Sabrina Butteris, MD, and the University of Minnesota’s Michael Pitt, MD.

SUGAR consists of eight simulated causes that mimic patient care in resource-limited settings.

Each case is designed to elicit emotions of frustration, floundering, failure and futility (“the four Fs”), and then teach residents how to transform those emotions into adaptability, awareness, adjustment, and acknowledgment (the “four As”).

“Preparing residents for the emotional challenges they will inevitably encounter when caring for children in resource-limited settings is absolutely critical to their success and well-being,” Dr. Butteris explained. “It’s also important for colleagues abroad and their patients, because a poorly prepared resident may react to these situations in a way that directly impacts those around them.”

“It’s imperative that we give residents the opportunity to debrief these experiences in a controlled environment, rather than sending them off to experience the emotions for the first time thousands of miles from home,” she continued.

To learn more about SUGAR, click here.