SIM-one brings on its first international fellow

SIM-one brings on its first international fellow
September 23, 2013

Photo: International Fellow Raya Gal (far right) posing with SIM-one team members Michael Eliadis and Melissa Iliopoulos at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

It’s with great pleasure that SIM-one introduces Raya Gal, our newest addition to the team and our very first International fellow.

The new SIM-one International Fellowship (SIF) program supports outstanding international leaders who wish to immerse themselves in the field of healthcare simulation, through the SIM-one network.

Gal first approached SIM-one asking for an opportunity to explore and learn from Ontario’s growing healthcare simulation environment. Dr. Bruce Ballon, SIM-one’s Director of Education, was impressed on his first encounter with her.

“I saw how passionate Raya was for the field of simulation and her eagerness to learn. She was so excited and full of ideas, and said she would commit herself to at least a full year with us. It was then I thought this would be a great way to launch a pilot International Fellowship Program. She was such an excellent candidate. She was the type of person who appeared to already by in sync with the values of SIM-one.”

A nurse by profession, Gal obtained her Master’s degree in Anthropology from Ben-Gurion University (BGU) of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel. She currently works at BGU as a Simulation and Observational Structured Clinical Exam (OSCE) Coordinator, where her responsibilities include the recruitment of training of simulated patients. Gal is also a Clinical Instructor at BGU and teaches a first-year medical school course in patient communication that focuses on the developing cross-cultural communication skills, with a specific focus on the Israeli Bedouin population.

Gal wanted to immerse herself in simulation so she approached simulation experts at BGU, including Director Dr. A. Mark Clarfield, head of BGU's Medical School for International Health. Clarfield, who is a University of Toronto graduate, and other faculty at BGU supported her interests.

"Our teachers in Beer-Sheva have used simulation over the past years, but recently made a strategic decision to increase the use of this tool in its teaching armamentarium,” said Clarfield. “Raya showed initiative and is a self starter, but such people also need support from the home institution. We look forward to her returning to Beer Sheva, bringing us new ideas from my old alma mater."

Gal came to Ontario to gain a better understanding of how simulation is conducted in the Province. To date, she has been involved with many SIM-one activities, including the SIM-one Provincial Equipment Coordination Service (SPECS), as a reviewer for SIM-one’s Simulation Research Primer course, and is enrolled in SIM-one’s Keystones of Healthcare Simulation certificate program. She hopes to share her acquired knowledge with the global simulation community.

“My goals are to learn as much as I can through my experience in Ontario, and to collaboratively share this with others in the healthcare simulation community, in Ontario and in Israel." Gal emphasizes that her "goal is to break down barriers so that all simulation educators can communicate in one sim language.”

Gal is happily married and is the mother of four children, all of whom have joined her on her Ontario journey. She is an accomplished swimmer and won the gold medal in swimming for the butterfly stroke at the 2013 Maccabiah Games, the world’s largest Jewish athletic competition.

Please join SIM-one in welcoming Raya Gal to Ontario’s healthcare simulation community. She can be contacted at [email protected]

About SIM-one

SIM-one—Ontario Simulation Network—is a not-for-profit organization that connects the simulation community, facilities, resources and services across the Province of Ontario. SIM-one advocates for and advances simulated learning in health professions education for the benefit of patient care and patient safety. Fully supported by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC), SIM-one’s vision is to further position Ontario as the global leader in healthcare simulation.

For more information on SIM-one, please visit or contact John Gilson at [email protected].