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Early obstetric simulators in Australia

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Simulation became important for obstetric training in the 18th and 19th centuries

The increased numbers of medical students in Australia, coming from a greater number of medical schools, have put pressure on the traditional obstetric education requirement for students to personally deliver babies under supervision. There is a real chance that students may “miss out” on this experience, and universities may need to resort to using simulation to give students those experiences and skills.

Aside from being a substitute for performing procedures where there is less opportunity for students to do so on real patients, simulation is increasingly being used to improve medical education and training because it offers a risk-free environment for learning new skills and practising management of occasional but serious conditions that need prompt and effective intervention. Similar observations were made around 300 years ago, when simulators began to be used in obstetric training.1,2 Surgery simulators were used more than a thousand years earlier, but obstetrics was the first discipline to widely integrate simulation in training.1