With SIM Skills In Hand, SGU Students Come Out Ahead At AMSACon

A team of student representatives from St. George’s University came home with big winnings from the American Medical Student Association’s national convention (AMSACon) in Washington, DC.

School of Medicine students and SGU AMSA chapter members Tasha Phillips-Wilson, Stephanie Moody-Geissler, and Mark Iannatuono won AMSACon’s National Simulated Patient Challenge. The group, who called themselves “The CardioversionKids,” competed against more than 25 teams from medical schools across the US and the Caribbean using Body Interactive, a virtual patient care platform that allows students to practice diagnostic and treatment skills using simulated patients.

After performing well in the qualifying rounds on two case simulations, the team provided care for a simulated patient who presented with acute coronary syndrome. The team correctly identified his condition and treated him appropriately, more effectively and quickly than any of the other six teams invited to take part in the final round.

“We feel our victory would never have been possible without SGU’s rigorous academic preparation,” Mr. Iannatuono said of the experience. “Our team is now on to the World Championship round which will be hosted online in October.”


One of the critical areas where SOM students receive rigorous academic preparation is in clinical skills via the simulation lab. SGU’s SiMLAB provides an opportunity for many medical students to have their first direct interaction with ill and injured patients in a safe, simulated learning environment. In this learning environment, students are exposed to the following medical simulation-based training modalities:

  • Skills training using tasks trainers (e.g., IV catheter insertion)
  • High-fidelity manikin training
  • Standardized (simulated) patient encounters
  • Computer-based or cloud-based simulation (via i-Human)
  • Hybrid training with both standardized patients and manikins

“Our simulation training sessions are invaluable tools which are utilized primarily for two purposes: to safely increase the educational experiences for students and improve healthcare delivery,” said Dr. Anna Cyrus-Murden, assistant dean of simulation at SGU. “Thus, simulation provides a safe environment to facilitate learning, practice, and achieving one’s competency goals, without the inherent risks that comes with its real-life equivalent.”

SiMLAB is an integral part of the SOM curriculum along with student’s exposure to standardized patients. The elements set the foundational knowledge and skills required for our students as they train for clinical encounters, according to Dr. Mark Clunes, senior associate dean of basic sciences.

“That the SGU AMSA student team was able to come first in this national competition is testimony to their hard work and training and something that they—and our whole community—can be proud of,” Dr. Clunes said. “I was very happy to learn of their win and know that our whole community will be happy to hear of their success!”

Students won the AMSACon National Simulated Patient Challenge.


The SGU representatives also received individual honors at the annual convention.

  • Ms. Moody-Geissler was recognized with the AMSA Foundation Reproductive Health Poster Scholarship Award and elected as the National AMSA Global Health Advocacy coordinator
  • Mrs. Phillips-Wilson was elected to serve on the AMSA National Board of Directors as international trustee. Mrs. Phillips-Wilson is the former Academy Chair and was also honored with the Presidential Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her work in leading the University to win the Paul R Wright Chapter Success Award.
  • Mr. Iannatuono was elected as international membership director for the organization.

When asked for comment, Mrs. Tasha Phillips-Wilson said: “I know I speak for all the SGU students in attendance at AMSACon when I say what an honor it was to represent our amazing University.”  

—Sarah Stoss



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