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Medical students’ and junior doctors’ leadership and teamwork skills improved after involvement with Simulation via Instant Messaging-Birmingham Advance (SIMBA)
  1. Cai Ying Ng1,
  2. Isabel Allison2,
  3. Emma Ooi1,
  4. Meri Davitadze3,
  5. Eka Melson4,5,
  6. Punith Kempegowda5,6
  1. 1 Medical school, RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus, Georgetown, Malaysia
  2. 2 Medical school, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3 Georgian-American Family Medicine Clinic 'Medical House', Tbilisi, Georgia
  4. 4 NHS Tayside, Dundee, UK
  5. 5 Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  6. 6 Department of Endocrinology and diabetes, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Punith Kempegowda, Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK; p.kempegowda{at}


Background Leadership and teamwork skills are essential components of medical education. Simulation via Instant Messaging-Birmingham Advance (SIMBA) is an innovative simulation-based learning tool mainly delivered by medical students and junior doctors. This study aimed to investigate the effect of SIMBA on leadership and teamwork skills of medical students and junior doctors during COVID-19.

Methods All medical students and junior doctors involved in the delivery of SIMBA were invited to complete the Leadership Trait Questionnaire (LTQ) and Teamwork Skills Questionnaire (TSQ) assessing their views pre-SIMBA and post-SIMBA involvement. The changes in scores were analysed using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Open-ended questions were reviewed in an inductive thematic analysis.

Results A total of 33 SIMBA team members completed both questionnaires. There was improvement in all traits measured in the LTQ and TSQ, significant in 9/14 LTQ traits, and all 6 TSQ traits (p<0.05). ‘Decision making’ had the highest improvement (p<0.0001). Response to open-ended questions reported positive effects on personal development, medical professionalism, communication skills and medical/clinical knowledge.

Conclusions SIMBA is an effective model to inculcate leadership and teamwork skills among medical students and junior doctors. Prospective studies are underway to assess long-term impact.

  • medical leadership
  • clinical leadership
  • student
  • professionalism
  • medical student

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  • CYN and IA are joint first authors.

  • Twitter @ngcaiying, @MeriDavitadze

  • Contributors CYN and IA are joint first author having made all-round contributions to the study. EO interpreted and anlysed the data. MD, EM and PK conceptualised the idea of the study and critically reviewed the manuscript. PK also supervised the delivery of all aspects of SIMBA. All authors made substantial contributions to drafting and approving the final draft of this manuscript. The final version has been reviewed and approved by all the named authors. All authors agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy and integrity of all parts of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.