About Jennifer W. Rudolph, PhD


Assistant Clinical Professor of Anesthesia, Harvard Medical School
Executive Director, Center for Medical Simulation

Research Areas

  • Health care simulation: debriefing, reflective practice, psychological safety, assessment
  • Effective feedback as part of the teaching and learning process
  • Understanding and preventing diagnostic error

Description of Research

Simulation and Debriefing: Enhancing clinicians’ ability to reflect on and improve their teaching skills using experiential, simulation-based learning is the primary focus of my research. I study how clinicians become “reflective practitioners”—people capable of examining and adjusting their cognitive routines and emotional reactions to improve patient safety and quality as well as clinical teaching. I conduct research and teach about the qualities and preconditions of reflective practice in health care simulation, especially “debriefing.” Debriefing is a rigorous post-simulation dialogue that generates insights and behavior change to improve clinical practice. I co-developed a debriefing assessment instrument called the DASH.

Diagnostic error: I have conducted research on clinical problem solving in anesthesia at the Center for Medical Simulation. Blending these studies with research on accident and errors in high-hazard industries such as nuclear power and chemical processing, I have developed computer simulations of diagnostic problem solving.


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