Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine - Faculty
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Robert Simon, EdD, CHFP


Education Director of the Center for Medical Simulation, Director of the Institute for Medical Simulation, Assistant in Anesthesia; Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Clinical Specialty

Cardiac Anesthesia, Pulmonary Pathophysiology, Inflammatory Response During Cardiac Surgery, Ventricular Assist Devices

Professional Activities

I am a human factors specialist with more than 25 years experience as a researcher and educator. I received an EdD in Research and Evaluation from the University of Massachusetts in 1984 and is a Board Certified Human Factors.  For the last 20 years, I have specialized in research, development, and training for high-performance, high-stress teams in aviation and medicine. From 1994 through 2002, I was Chief Scientist and Project Manager for the Team Coordination Training Development for Healthcare Settings (MedTeams) and as such developed one of the first teamwork training programs for healthcare. I joined CMS in 2002.

As CMS Education Director, I develop and teach courses in crisis resource management and teamwork for healthcare professionals in anesthesia, emergency medicine, obstetrics, paramedicine, and critical care specialists. I am responsible for faculty development and maintaining high quality instruction.

I developed the curriculum for and leads the highly acclaimed Institute for Medical Simulation, a flagship program of CMS in collaboration with the Harvard MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. I have led all of the IMS programs, of which there are now approximately 650 graduates, since its inception.

I have been certified as a CMS Instructor and am one of the CMS senior instructors in several of courses including all ACRM and Labor and Delivery courses as well as those in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care. I now typically serves in the role of Co-Instructor with clinician faculty, often as a mentor to junior faculty.

I have been the Principal Investigator on numerous research projects before his career at CMS. I have since also been involved in various research projects as a collaborator with various other CMS faculty.  Current projects include a study of the handoff process in anesthesia; testing an intervention to improve the performance of physicians in apologizing in the immediate aftermath of an adverse event; investigating the use of a method to speak up across the authority gradient or across disciplines in the interest of patient safety and the quality of care, known as the two-challenge rule; and analysis of the management of DNR orders by anesthesiologists.

I am currently working with the American Heart Association to develop a debriefing assessment battery and also serving on a committee of the American College of Surgeons that is developing a program for teamwork among surgical teams.


Peer reviewed:

  1. Leedom DK, Simon R.  Improving Team Coordination: A Case for Behavioral-Based Training. Military Psychology, 1995, 7:2, 109-122.
  2. Small SD, Wuerz RC, Simon R, Shapiro N, Conn A, Setnik G: Demonstration of high-fidelity simulation team training for emergency medicine. Academic Emergency Medicine, 1999, 6, 312-323.
  3. Risser, DT, Rice, M, Salisbury, M, Simon, R, Jay, GD, Berns, SD and the MedTeams Investigation Group:  The potential for improved teamwork to reduce medical errors in the ED. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 1999, 34(3), 373-383.
  4. Simon R, Salisbury M, Wagner, G. MedTeams: Teamwork advances emergency department effectiveness and reduces errors. Ambulatory Outreach, Spring, 2000.
  5. Morey, J, Simon, R, Jay, GD, Wears, RL, Salisbury M, Dukes, KA, and Berns, SD. Error reduction and performance improvement in the Emergency Department through formal teamwork training: Evaluation results of the MedTeams Project. HSR: Health Services Research 2002, 37:6, 1553-1581.
  6. Shapiro MJ, Morey JC, Small SD, Langford V, Kaylor CJ, Jagminas L, Suner S, Salisbury ML, Simon R, Jay GD. Simulation based teamwork training for emergency department staff: does it improve clinical team performance when added to an existing didactic teamwork curriculum? Qual Saf Health Care 2004; 13: 417-421.
  7. Rudolph JW, Simon R, Dufresne RL, Raemer DB. There’s no such thing as “non-judgmental” debriefing: A theory and method for debriefing with good judgment. Simulation in Healthcare, 2006, 1:1, 49-55
  8. Rudolph JW, Simon R, Raemer DB. Which Reality Matters? Questions on the Path to High Engagement in Healthcare Simulation. Simulation in Healthcare, 2007, 2:3, 161-163.

Chapers and Reviews (most recent only):

  1. Wears RL, Simon R. Testimony: Broad-based systems approaches. Written statement. National Summit on Medical Errors and Patient Safety Research. September 2000.
  2. Salisbury M, Simon R, Morey JC. The long road to teamwork improvements: Management and operational strategies that sustain MedTeams. In  Bartley J, Luca J, Pugliese G, editors. Partnership Symposium 2001: Patient Safety-Stories of Success. Chicago: National Patient Safety Foundation, 2001:12.
  3. Salisbury ML, Simon R. Growing Nursing Leadership in the Field of Patient Safety. In Youngberg BJ, Hatlie MJ, The Patient Safety Handbook. Boston, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2004
  4. Rudolph JW, Simon R, Rivard P, Dufresne RL, Raemer DB. Debriefing with Good Judgment: Combining Rigorous Feedback with Genuine Inquiry.  In Kofke, WA, Nadkarni, VM.  Anesthesia Clinics: New Vistas in Patient Safety and Simulation. 25 (2007), 361-376.

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