Interview with the President of SOMESICS, Edgar Herrera Bastida
As part of our series of articles highlighting Simulation Societies, SIMZINE interviews the president of the Mexican Society for Simulation in Health Sciences (SOMESICS), Edgar I. Herrera Bastida, about the challenges that the field of simulation in Mexico still has to overcome and its main objectives for the current mandate.
As part of our series of articles highlighting Simulation Societies, SIMZINE interviews the president of the Mexican Society for Simulation in Health Sciences (SOMESICS), Edgar I. Herrera Bastida. Surgeon and Doctor in Educational Evaluation, he has been the first Mexican to obtain international certification as an Educator in Simulation in Health Sciences from SSH. Fellow of the SSH international simulation academy, he currently works for Doctors Without Borders Barcelona in the “Simulation, Capacity Building & Deployment – Innovation Transform” program. Today he talks about the challenges that the field of simulation in Mexico still has to overcome and his main objectives for the current mandate.
Edgar I. Herrera Bastida
Surgeon graduated from the U. Anahuac México Norte. Master of Science and PhD candidate in Educational Evaluation from the U Anáhuac and the U. Complutense de Madrid. First Mexican to obtain international certification as Educator in Simulation in Health Sciences and Fellow of the international simulation academy of the SSH. President of the Mexican Society for Simulation in Health Sciences. He currently works for Doctors Without Borders Barcelona in the “Simulation, Capacity Building & Deployment – Innovation Transform” program
Hello Edgar. And thank you for sharing your time with our readers. Let’s start easy. What are you most passionate about in simulation?
Through simulation I do one of the things that I like the most, which is to share knowledge and clinical experience with young residents in a different way than the traditional one, and that thanks to simulation I am realizing a dream that I had when I was young, which was to be a film director.
Doing simulation is very similar to being the director of a film in which you must put your science and heart at 100% to achieve the impact you want with the participants and leave an experience in all of them that will be useful in the clinical environment.
What is SOMESICS?
It is the Mexican Society for Simulation in Health Sciences, we are a non-profit society founded 6 years ago in Mexico City by three enthusiastic doctors with a great dream. Being able to create a society of simulation enthusiasts in Mexico based on the exchange of experiences and knowledge, and that we could open the doors of Mexico to the world and serve as a bridge for our partners with the rest of the world. We currently have more than 400 members from Mexico and other countries, mainly from Central, South America and the United States, some from Europe and friends in Asia.
How would you define the state of simulation in your country?
Currently, simulation is no longer a novelty or a curiosity to become part of the education and evaluation processes in health sciences.
I believe that there are many very valuable people in Mexico who have invested a lot of time and effort in preparing themselves to be able to offer the best in their simulation programs, and thanks to them good simulation practices have been implemented. However, in Mexico we have the great challenge of promoting these good practices, and preventing this methodology from falling into disrepute situations due to inappropriate use.
And where do you think efforts should be focused as a priority?
Work must be done to promote quality standards in the multiple phases of the simulation process, as well as facilitating access to the information and necessary resources for all those who practice simulation, and working with the most experienced simulationists with the novices to find alternatives according to their reality so that they can put them into practice. Opening spaces in which not only the simulationist receives, but also shares his experiences with his peers.
At this moment I consider it important to support all the talented simulationists that exist so that their work is recognized by everyone, beyond their simulation programs.
What role can scientific societies in general and, specifically, SOMESICS play in the development of patient safety through simulation?
Simulation societies are a point of reference for multiple people and organizations, so we have the responsibility of promoting a culture of quality and promoting the development and recognition of individuals and their work teams in their simulation programs.
Simulationists with more experience, through simulation societies, must find the appropriate ways to participate in medical and specialist councils and colleges, to promote through simulation an alternative to improve training, evaluation of medical personnel, and with this to find areas of opportunity to improve health systems.
Simulation is not the only tool to identify or solve safety problems for patients and health personnel, but it is definitely a fundamental tool to achieve it.
What is the motivation to be President of a national scientific society?
Having the opportunity to work with a team of people who share their talent with a common purpose, for something that one is passionate about, guiding and coordinating an effort with such an important purpose for the education and safety of patients and your fellow health workers.
And having the opportunity to represent my country and SOMESICS members with the rest of the world, being an ambassador that can help promote their work and open doors and opportunities, as well as having the opportunity to meet and work with extraordinary simulationists of everyone.
What are your main objectives for the current mandate?
Promote and strengthen the simulation educator certification process promoted by SOMESICS members.
Continue the expansion of SOMESICS’ contacts and agreements with other simulation societies in the world.
Promote, together with education and health organizations in Mexico, the implementation of best practices and quality standards in the health simulation methodology.
You have recently launched a national certification program. Why and what objectives do you propose?
At SOMESICS we are convinced of the importance of recognizing the effort and achievements of simulationists, as well as promoting good simulation practices.
We have worked very hard to develop a simulation educator certification process to recognize this effort.
The certification model is based on the evaluation by portfolio of evidence of the standards determined by the members and considering what is requested in other international certification processes.
The portfolio model was chosen so that the candidate not only has a collection of certificates or courses, but also demonstrates what he has managed to develop with the knowledge and experiences acquired.
Portfolios are reviewed by a committee, who provide feedback to candidates if necessary.
Upon passing this review, the candidates will take a council exam in which a group of synod peers will ask them about their work plan for the next certification cycle, supporting their answers with their portfolio.
In this way, candidates approve the process and obtain their certification for 3 years. In order to be re-certified, they must demonstrate evidence of progress in the plan presented to the council in their previous evaluation.
In your opinion, as a scientific community, are we forgetting something?
They do an amazing job of opening these spaces up to different people around the world to get different points of view and experiences.
The growth and implementation of the simulation methodology in the world has been exponential every year, so we will soon have to face new challenges as simulation societies, and it is very good to have societies and friends willing to share and listen to the different points of view and experiences in the world.
Before finishing, would you like to add anything else?
Thank you for this space, and invite all members of simulation societies around the world to learn about our work.
If one day they have the opportunity to visit our country, they will have a group of friends willing to share all their academic experience, and we will be happy to receive them and present everything that Mexico can offer to them.