Jenny W. Rudolph, PhD

Jenny W. Rudolph, PhD

The Center for Medical Simulation is a lab that uses highly realistic mannequin simulation to examine communication and cognition in the OR, ER, and ICU. We also examine the dilemmas clinicians face in providing effective feedback, conducting interprofessional negotiations in high-stakes clinical decisions, handling disclosure and apology, and learning to debrief clinical simulations.


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

Research Areas

  • Healthcare 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 healthcare 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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