Have you ever wondered how to bring both theory and practice into your simulation? We are currently consulting with one of our clients to create a simulation with video clips from two different mentors: one is a clinical researcher in a specific therapeutic area and the other is a primary care physician with experience diagnosing and treating patients in that therapeutic area.

This strategy involves creating a unique voice for each mentor. For this simulation, one mentor takes the “Voice of Knowledge.” In this role, the clinical researcher steps into the simulation at key moments to provide relevant research informing best practice. Using short video interview excerpts, the Voice of Knowledge mentor provides just in time information as learners diagnose and treat their fictional patient.

The primary care physician assumes the “Voice of Practice.” His (or her) role is to translate the research into practical application while caring for patients. Since the learners for this simulation are also primary care providers, the Voice of Practice mentor is the primary mentor in the simulation. So, we see him more often in the simulation. Through video clips, this mentor greets the learners and orients them to the simulation and their patient, and guides them through their decision-making process. The goal here is to help learners identify how they can implement the research information into their practice.

Of course, we don’t tell learners that there is a Voice of Practice or a Voice of Knowledge. However, we use these labels as we design the simulation to help clarify and communicate the different roles of each mentor. This characterization helps us determine when to insert the different mentors, and how to coach subject matter experts on what to discuss in their video clips. It also helps us write dialogue. For example, we use a different tone (or voice) when writing dialogue for the mentors. The Voice of Knowledge has a more formal and academic tone. This narrator answers the question, “What is the latest research about this condition?” Whereas, the Voice of Practice has a more familiar tone that translates theoretical content into the everyday actions common in a healthcare setting. The Voice of Practice answers the question, “How can I use this information while caring for my patients?”

How could you create two different mentor voices in your simulations?