Humanitas University and Stanford University, an ongoing collaboration

From 7th October 2022, for three weeks, resident doctors from the Emergency Medicine course and Anaesthesia and Resuscitation course at Humanitas University had the opportunity to actively participate in the simulation of clinical cases activities and attend lectures held by two Stanford University professors: Professor Bernard Dannenberg – Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine and Emergency Pediatrics and Professor Nicholas Andrew Pokrajac – Clinical Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine and Head of the Stanford Simulation Centre.

Listen to Prof. Dannenberg’s tesitmonial

“This visit represents our ongoing scientific collaboration with Stanford which we started in 2015, when Professor James Quinn from Stanford University spent a period in Hunimed as visiting Professor – explains Prof. Raffaello Furlan    Full Professor of Internal Medicine at Humanitas University. Exchange and collaboration relationships are very frequent in the scientific field, especially when having previously worked on common projects and scientific studies.

In October Drs. Claudia Cecconi Ebm and Stefania Brusa organised several simulation sessions of emergency-urgency clinical cases in paediatric and adult settings for the resident doctors in Anaesthesia and Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine. “Groups of 6-7 resident doctors were present and actively took part to the cases at the Hunimed Simulation Centre, and a much larger number of doctors were able to follow remotely in classrooms connected to our Simulation Centre. “This – explains Furlan – was an important opportunity for exchange and scientific enrichment that more than a hundred resident doctors were able to benefit from”.

Listen to Prof. Furlan’s testimonial

Aimed at training new simulation instructors, the “TRAIN THE TRAINERS 2022 Simulation Instructor Training” course was held on 25th and 26th October by Dr. Stefania Brusa and Engineer Fabio Carfagna, joined by Professor Bernard Dannenberg, Dr. Francesco Barbani and Dr. Elena Bigi. The course targeted Humanitas specialists who already had experience as simulation trainers in the Simulation Centre. The inter-university collaboration, a new feature of this edition, attracted many more participants and some extra spots were added to the course. “Simulation in learning is a very important area,” explains Dr. Francesco Barbani, Anaesthesia and Resuscitation department in AOU Careggi Firenze and Coordinator of the Simulation Centre affiliated with the specialisation school of anaesthesia and resuscitation at the University of Florence. This course introduced some simulation techniques that can be used by facilitators to train others. The trainees had the opportunity to learn about culture and, most importantly, they learned psychomotor skills such as how to do procedures and how to behave within the team. The main goal is to improve the quality of patient care.

The aim is to create a group of simulation experts who can support training activities using simulation methods that are aligned with reference standards.  “This event was a great opportunity,” explains Dr. Elena Bigi, Anaesthesia and Resuscitation, Ospedale Maggiore of Bologna and Territorial Emergency 118 Emilia-Romagna, “to make training available and standardised through simulation practices in healthcare. Simulation is a very powerful tool that we need to learn to manage in the best possible way as it is not a spontaneous activity. It is therefore crucial, both for the participants and for the course providers, to share and standardise knowledge, and to do this, meetings and discussions are necessary.”

In addition, a lecture was held by Stanford University professors for the sixth-year Emergency students, as a way to experience a different approach of teaching medicine. Besides enabling knowledge exchange, the visit by the American lecturers was also an opportunity to give international scope and visibility to our Speciality Schools and to open up potential training and exchange opportunities with Stanford. It is also worth mentioning that these exchanges allow to develop opportunities for new clinical studies and common research objectives.


Humanitas is a highly specialized Hospital, Research and Teaching Center. Built around centers for the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and orthopedic disease – together with an Ophthalmic Center and a Fertility Center – Humanitas also operates a highly specialised Emergency Department.