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Med Educ Online. 2017;22(1):1412746. doi: 10.1080/10872981.2017.1412746.

Medical education and human trafficking: using simulation.

Author information

a Department of Emergency Medicine and Department of Medicine , Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School , Boston , USA.
b Scholarly Excellence, Leadership Experiences, Collaborative Training (SELECT) Program , University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine , Tampa , USA.
c Standardized Patient Program , University of Louisville School of Medicine , Louisville , USA.
d Student Affairs, Pediatrics , University of Louisville School of Medicine , Louisville , USA.


Healthcare providers have the potential to play a crucial role in human trafficking prevention, identification, and intervention. However, trafficked patients are often unidentified due to lack of education and preparation available to healthcare professionals at all levels of training and practice. To increase victim identification in healthcare settings, providers need to be educated about the issue of trafficking and its clinical presentations in an interactive format that maximizes learning and ultimately patient-centered outcomes. In 2014, University of Louisville School of Medicine created a simulation-based medical education (SBME) curriculum to prepare students to recognize victims and intervene on their behalf. The authors share the factors that influenced the session's development and incorporation into an already full third year medical curriculum and outline the development process. The process included a needs assessment for the education intervention, development of objectives and corresponding assessment, implementation of the curriculum, and finally the next steps of the module as it develops further. Additional alternatives are provided for other medical educators seeking to implement similar modules at their home institution. It is our hope that the description of this process will help others to create similar interactive educational programs and ultimately help trafficking survivors receive the care they need.


HCP: Healthcare professional; M-SIGHT: Medical student instruction in global human trafficking; SBME: Simulation-based medical education; SP: Standardized patient; TIC: Trauma-informed care.


Violence; human trafficking; medical education; patient-centered outcomes; simulation

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