Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine - Faculty
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Jenny Rudolph, PhD


Associate Director, Institute for Medical Simulation; Assistant Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School

Clinical Specialty

Cognition and communication in diagnostic problem solving; high-fidelity simulation debriefings; feedback in clinical education; the role of speaking up in maintaining patient safety; reflective practice

Professional Activities

My teaching and research focuses on how reflective practice—learning to become aware of one’s own cognitive routines and emotional reactions—can help people perform better in fast-paced OR, ER, and ICU settings.  I have unique expertise in how cognition, emotion and communication interact. My research appears in clinical and as well as management journals, and has been funded by the National Patient Safety Foundation, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.  I received my doctorate in management from Boston College in 2003 and my B.A. in Sociology from Harvard College in 1985.  After five years on the faculty of the Health Policy and Management Department at Boston University School of Public Health, I am now a Lecturer at Harvard Medical School and full-time staff member of the CMS as a researcher and educator.  I am the former managing director of BOTEC Analysis Corporation, a public policy consulting firm. 

I have been on the faculty of the Institute for Medical Simulation since 2006, first as a visiting faculty and, since 2007, as a full-time faculty and Associate Director. I am certified as an Instructor at CMS and serve as a co-debriefer and mentor in CRM courses of all types.  I have a repertoire of lecture topics related to communication, negotiation, diagnostic problem solving theory and techniques and debriefing. I present in various healthcare education and simulation venues. With Dr. Robert Simon, I recently conducted a creative teaching module on debriefing and communication skills for anesthesia faculty at the Mass General Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine to improve faculty resident dialogue.

Prior to joining CMS, I was involved in research in areas highly related to simulation. I had a career development grant from 2004-2006 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development Service.  My projects included topics in the areas of interpersonal and communication skills and system-based practice, among others. I conducted the research for my PhD at CMS. The project was funded by the National Patient Safety Foundation and involved the study of decision-making during anesthesia critical events. I am currently conducting research at CMS including an APSF-supported study of an intervention to improve handoffs during anesthesia and is involved in other projects, as well including a quasi-experimental study of simulation-based approaches to teaching feedback skills to clinical faculty. I am co-PI on a study to develop and validate a tool to assess debriefing of simulated adverse events.


Peer reviewed:

  1. Carroll, JS, Rudolph, JW, Hatakenaka S.  2002.  Learning from experience in high-hazard industries. Research in Organizational Behavior, 24: 87-137.
  2. Rudolph, JW, Repenning, N. P. 2002.  Disaster dynamics:  Understanding the role of quantity in organizational collapse. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47 (1): 1-30.
  3. Carroll, JS, Rudolph, JW, & Hatakenaka, S. 2002. Lessons learned from non-medical industries:  Root cause analysis as culture change at a chemical plant. Quality and Safety in Healthcare, 11: 266-269.
  4. Carroll, JS, Hatakenaka, S., Rudolph, JW 2006.  Naturalistic Decision Making and Organizational Learning in Nuclear Power Plants: Negotiating Meaning between Managers and Problem Investigation Teams.  Organization Studies. 27(7) 1037-1057.
  5. MacLean, T., Anteby, M., Hudson, B. and Rudolph, JW  2006.  Talking Tainted Topics: Insights & Ideas on Researching Socially Disapproved Organizational Behavior.  Journal of Management Inquiry.  15 (1): 59-68.
  6. Bartunek, J.M., Rousseau, D.R., Rudolph, JW, DePalma, J.  2006.  On the receiving end:  Sensemaking, emotion, and assessments of an organizational change imposed by others.  Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. 42(2): 182-206
  7. Carroll, JS, and Rudolph, JW 2006. Design of high reliability organizations in healthcare. Quality and Safety in Health Care. 15 (Suppl 1): 14-19.
  8. Rudolph, JW, Simon, R., Dufresne, R.L., & Raemer, D. B. 2006.  There's no such thing as "non-judgmental" debriefing: A theory and method for debriefing with good judgment. Simulation in Healthcare.  1 (1): 49-55.
  9. Rudolph, JW, Simon, R., Rivard, P., Dufresne, R.L., & Raemer, D. B.  2007. Debriefing with good judgment: Combining rigorous feedback with genuine inquiry." Anesthesia Clinics, 25 (2) 361-376.
  10. Rudolph, JW, & Morrison, J. B. 2008. Sidestepping superstitious learning, ambiguity, and other roadblocks: A feedback model of diagnostic problem solving. American Journal of Medicine, Forthcoming.

Book Chapers (most recent):

  1. Rudolph, JW, Taylor, S. S., & Foldy, E. G. 2006. Collaborative off-line reflection:  A way to develop skill in action science and action inquiry. In P. Reason, & H. Bradbury (Eds.), Handbook of Action Research: Concise Paperback Edition. London: Sage (reprinted from original Handbook of Action Research).
  2. Taylor, S. S., Rudolph, JW, & Foldy, E. G. 2007. Teaching reflective practice in the Action Science/Action Inquiry tradition:  Key concepts and practices. In P. Reason, & H. Bradbury (Eds.), Handbook of Action Research, 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, USA: Sage.  656-658.
  3. Rudolph, JW, Simon R., Raemer, D.B. 2007. Which Reality Matters? Questions on the Path to High Engagement in Healthcare Simulation.  Simulation in Healthcare. (Editorial). 161-163.

Contact Information

Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-3030

Office Information

Department of Anesthesia,
Critical Care and Pain Medicine
Gray-Bigelow 444
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114

Public Transportation Access: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes