The winning team. Left to right: Dr. Wesley Jang, Sherry Stackhouse, Dr. Nicolle Holm and Dr. Kelsey Innes.

The best in the country

Thanks to VCH, British Columbia is now known on a national scale for something very valuable: medical simulation.

This month, a team of three UBC medical residents and one emergency clinician from VCH travelled to Edmonton to compete in the medical simulation competition at the annual Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians national conference. They ended up winning gold in the tough competition, beating out seven other teams from across the country.

The LGH clinician who took part was Sherry Stackhouse of Lions Gate Hospital.

“It was very exciting,” Sherry says. “I’ve have never been that excited or proud in my 31 years of work. I had so much fun.”

In the each round, the teams were given a medical scenario – like resuscitation – and were allowed a certain amount of time to take care. An audience of more than 100 health professionals then voted on which team performed the best. The BC team won the top prize by getting more votes than the Toronto team when they were presented with a cardiac problem in the audience.

The members of the winning team consisted of Sherry Stackhouse, Wesley Jang and Kelsey Innes, third and second year emergency residents respectively. Nicolle Holm, a third year emergency medicine resident, was the leader of the successful team.

“It felt pretty amazing,” Nicolle says. “We went in with pretty low expectations because we’ve never had a simulation team from UBC before.  And we didn’t really have any training – just two hours of practise. We were hoping we wouldn’t make fools of ourselves and just live up to the standards of the people watching.”

“We had to come in, handle a crowd of people and resuscitate a man with very few resources,” Sherry says. “It was challenging.”

Sherry says this win shows how much talent there is across the VCH organization.

“This team had people from different sites across VCH and I think it really represented  how well this organization can do as a whole,” she says.

Additionally, she says that on a national scale, it “was a wonderful statement about the quality of medical residents coming out of Vancouver.”

Nicolle, who is doing a fellowship in simulation next year, says she learned much from this experience.

“I’ve realized how important it is to know and trust the people who you’re working with,” she explains. “That and the value of communication with your team – that’s very important too. It makes me appreciate all the amazing nurses and support staff that we work alongside with.”