Poster presentation at the Canadian Conference on Global Health (Nov 19-21, 2018): “Experiential learning for public health professionals: an evaluation of educational value”

Miranda Loutet presented a poster at the 24th Canadian Conference on Global Health 2018 in Toronto, Ontario. The poster described the Global Health Sim methodology used to design and facilitate simulations, along with results from an evaluation of our simulations.

Many enthusiastic colleagues stopped by to discuss the poster, establishing new connections across Canada and globally. The other posters located around ours were also about innovative education and training among various disciplines of global health – it was very inspiring to meet such motivated individuals working together to improve education in global health!


May 22 2018 - Sim #4 Zika - University of Ottawa Global Health Course

12 enthusiastic students from the University of Ottawa came together for a fascinating simulation of an emerging infectious disease outbreak, modelled off of the Zika epidemic in its early phases. Lots of lessons learned and expertise shared by the Facilitators including Janet Hatcher Roberts, Carol Vlasoff and Ron St Jon from the University of Ottawa and Thomas Piggott from Global Health Sim.


Welcoming the ‘President’


Watching a CNN News Brief

March 10 2018- Sim #1 Environmental disaster and Humanitarian crisis- Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research

20 students and young professionals from all across Ontario attended a simulation as part of the annual Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research Student and Young Professionals Summit at McMaster University. Participants with all different backgrounds and varying levels of experience in the field were immensely engaged throughout the entire simulation, and solidified their learning through in depth discussions during the debrief. We hope to be apart of this annual summit to facilitate global health capacity building through professional development and networking opportunities such as participating in an engaging sim!

Why simulation learning is the future of global health education.

By: Thomas Piggott

Almost all of us have been here:


Sitting through a lecture. Perhaps slightly sleepy. Perhaps <gasp> scrolling through Facebook.

This sort of distraction from a 'boring' classroom is pretty natural in our highly connected world. We have access to the collective knowledge of our species with just a click on the smart phone that is always sitting in our pocket.

The world has changed. But why hasn't our education system?

To focus education on its traditional roots, the acquisition of knowledge from the teacher a custodian of information to the pupil, is quite simply archaic.

So... have educators lost their place? I don't think so.

But to remain relevant educators must 'invert the classroom' and, instead of being custodians of information, become information facilitators. They must help students learn how to access, appraise and apply information that they can so speedily access.

That is exactly what Global Health Sim is trying to do for global health education. We are seeking to disrupt global health education by inverting the global health classroom and turning global health educators into facilitators. Simulation learning may not totally replace the traditional classroom any time soon, but it is a direly needed supplement.

Students are craving experiential learning. Most jobs require experience; but getting that experience typically requires a job. If we can train the future practitioners of global health in a simulated environment they will be more prepared to take on the global health challenges facing our world when they graduate.

If you're interested in learning more about facilitating Global Health Sims see our Facilitator Course and apply today!

New Global Health Textbooks!

Photo credit:&nbsp; Jessica Ruscello &nbsp;at

Photo credit: Jessica Ruscello at

If you're teaching global health, these two new textbooks are a fantastic educational resources. If you have resources that you'd like us to share, please let us know!

Preparing for International Health Experiences is a must-read for any healthcare student considering volunteering, doing mission or practical work abroad. It covers specific medical professions from pediatrics to surgery, and allied disciplines such as dentistry and nursing. This unique resource offers necessary insights into making the most of the experience, from pre-departure training through to return orientation. It provides information on navigating the legalities and bureaucracies of international medical training and gives insights into cultural and language competencies, including how to be ethical and deferential in the exchange of situational knowledge.

Global Health Experiential Education: From Theory to Practice presents best practices for ethical and safe international health elective experiences for trainees and the educational competencies and evaluation techniques that make them valuable. It includes commentaries, discussions and descriptions of new global health education guidelines, reviews of the literature, as well as research. It includes ground-breaking research on perspectives of partners in the Global South whose voices are often unheard, student perspectives and critical discussions of the historical foundations and power dynamics inherent in international medical work. This book will be of interest to academic directors of global health programs and anyone involved in training and international exchanges across North America.

If you want to gain experience in global health education, consider applying to the Global Health Sim facilitator course!

Nov 28 2017 - Sim #2 - London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

A brilliant group of students and staff at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine participated in a simulation on refugee health crisis prioritisation and response run by Dr Rabia Bana. Thanks to everyone who came out and enthusiastically participated!  If you’re interested in learning how to facilitate simulations consider applying for the Facilitator Course.




The first sim that I ran...

by Thomas Piggott, Chair of Global Health Sim

At the Global Health Student and Young Professional Conference in Ottawa a few years ago, an idea to change Global Health Education was born. I had been asked to run a workshop or give a conference presentation on humanitarian response. Having attended many conferences before, I knew that these kinds of sessions can sometimes be very didactic and not engaging. That was the last thing I wanted to spring on conference attendees in the afternoon... after lunch... just as they were starting to get a little bit sleepy. So I started thinking about more engaging alternatives.

I reflected on my education so far, and that the most enjoyable aspects standing out were the experiential hands-on activities: learning by doing.

In medicine I had a lot of experience with practicing skills and procedures in safe spaces, through simulation, before doing them in the real world.


Before medicine I had been involved in experiential learning through EBL or enquiry-based learning at the University of Guelph. I had the incredible opportunity to learn from Drs Jacqueline Murray and Alastair Summerlee, two seminal educators fostering EBL in First Year Seminar courses. These courses went through cases, real world problems, and had us take on the role of actually solving them! That course was head and shoulders above my others.


Why can’t we do something similar to simulation training in medicine and EBL in education to teach public and global health in a more engaging way I thought? Trying to find something like this was challenging, examples of it were nowhere to be seen online.

But I didn’t let that stop me! I ended up writing the script for a simulation myself. Painstakingly, I researched the nuances of a global health crisis, in that case an earthquake complex emergency, and I wrote a context and the roles for each of the participants attending.

Then I set it into action. I brought along my camera to actually film the ‘journalist’, gave real data to the ‘epidemiologist’, gave a real human rights report to the human rights watchdog and encouraged the president to act ‘presidential’. The session was underway.

That first Sim was very well attended, and each participant had a role to undertake - everyone did a great job acting their part! Seeing it all come together was magical. One attendee who had been involved in humanitarian response had said “this feels so similar to what it’s actually like to be out there!”.

From the success of this first sim, the movement has grown. We’ve built a team and ran sims for conferences, classes and organizations in three continents and participants all over the world online with E-Sims. Our team is committed to creating resources and training facilitators (see to apply!) to make global health education experiential and engaging, through simulation. If you’re interested in learning more about simulation in global health, consider applying for our upcoming facilitator course!

Nov 13 2017 - Sim #2 - Toronto, Canada for the University of Toronto Global Health Education Initiative

An enthusiastic group of resident doctors enrolled in the Global Health Education Initiative participated in a simulation on refugee health and humanitarian response at the University of Toronto in Canada. Participants gained hands on experience regarding the health concerns in the context of a humanitarian crisis and put skills they have been learning in the course into practice!

Sim in Toronto.jpg

October 28th 2017 - Sim #2 at the GHSYPS 2017 Conference in Ottawa

Dr Jennifer Hulme, emergency medicine doctor in Toronto and Global Health researcher and educator facilitated an engaging simulation today for 30 attendees at the Global Health Student and Young Professionals (GH-SYP) Conference in Ottawa.

Attendees took on roles as stakeholders in the response to a humanitarian refugee crisis learning about public health prioritisation in an emergency. Click here to find out more about Global Health Sim and here to find out about the Global Health Sim Facilitator Course to train you to facilitation Global Health Sims.


Refugee Health Sim at Guelph University


In March, Julie Zhang led a refugee health response simulation for a graduate global health class at the University of Guelph. The students came from a variety of disciplines, from international development to computer science, and applied their in-course knowledge and unique backgrounds to the sim scenario. During the debrief period, the participants had an engaging discussion on the untapped value of experiential learning in higher education. Thank you to Professors Sherilee Harper and Warren Dodd for the invitation to facilitate in their classroom!

Global Health Sim in Geneva for #WHA70 [WHO's World Health Assembly]

Chair of Global Health Sim, Thomas Piggott, is in Geneva to talk to attendees of the World Health Assembly [#WHA70] about simulations in global health education.

Global Health Sim recently launched its facilitators course to build capacity in simulation-based learning for global health education. The pilot course will have 30 students from all over the world who will collaborate online to learn about the theoretical basis of simulation education, develop simulations and learn to facilitate them effectively.

If you're interested in innovative global health education check out the facilitators course and we hope to speak with you during the World Health Assembly!

Reproduced from - World Health Assembly 2017

Reproduced from - World Health Assembly 2017

Mar 2 2017 - Sim #2 LSHTM Students, London, UK

An enthusiastic group of LSHTM students from all over the world gathered to respond to a refugee crisis in a fictitious country. There was great discussion in the debrief, notably on the distinction between impartiality and neutrality, and priority setting in complex emergencies. Thanks for coming out!