Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MS in Human Genetics

First Advisor

Claire Davis, EdD, MS, CGC


Simulation is a well-established learning practice in medical education; however, it is not well studied in genetic counseling. The current study utilizes action research to document and describe the implementation of a simulated patient (SP) program into the Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics curriculum. With the standards of genetic counseling training now including simulated patient encounters as participatory cases (ACGC 2019 and 2020), the utilization of SP methodology can be expected to grow. The goal of the study was to explore specific considerations of simulation in genetic counseling while meeting the standards of best practice laid out by professional simulation organizations. Over the course of the study, a model of simulation implementation was developed and over two hundred and seventy simulation sessions were implemented. Key themes of successful implementation were identified, including co-creation within the team - building as we go; developing a formative holding environment that is learner-centered; workshopping - maximizing the unique aspects of simulation; and pushing towards the growing edge while bridging theory to practice. The study contributes a thick description of implementing a simulation program with the aim of catalyzing a robust community of practice of healthcare simulation in genetic counseling education.