The Center for Education Research, Technology and Innovation (CERTAIN) in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine creates an environment of educational excellence through a process of continuous learning, assessment, and feedback, under the leadership of Dr. Robina Matyal.
CERTAIN conducts wide-ranging educational research, uses findings to improve our programs, and evaluates those programs to maintain heightened learning and satisfaction. We use state-of-the-art technology to create innovative teaching and assessment methods that allow us to tailor educational efforts to individual trainees and focus on their learning needs. Our ongoing cycle of quality improvement ensures that our anesthesia educational programs are among the best in the country.
In addition, the Center also fosters a supportive, collaborative environment for faculty to engage in educational scholarship. We provide mentorship, guidance, and support in areas such as study design, grant preparation, methodology, IRB correspondence, and manuscript preparation and submission.
The Center seeks to develop, test, and deploy a dynamic educational environment that optimizes learning for all department members and enhances patient outcomes. Through collaborative research that uses state-of-the-art technology to identify the best educational methods, CERTAIN aims to continually enhance our existing programs and create new and innovative systems for teaching and learning.
- Create an optimal learning environment for our department members as well as members of other departments.
- Develop and apply innovative metrics to evaluate and enhance our educational programs.
- Use state-of-the-art technology to create, assess, and deploy new learning tools and methods.
- Refine techniques to teach complex technical skills to our department members.
- Provide mentorship, support, and guidance to faculty pursuing educational research.
Education & Research
CERTAIN focuses on developing innovative ways to improve education for both medical trainees and faculty. Its primary focus is on establishing pre-clinical proficiency: an objective demonstration of “readiness to perform” prior to actual clinical exposure.
Training Sessions & Courses
The Center hosts training sessions and courses for various learners in the medical center. From academic days for our department’s CA-1 residents to ultrasound courses for other departments, including Nephrology and Hospital Medicine, CERTAIN emphasizes a multimodal teaching approach that utilizes online modules hosted on a learning management system developed and managed by the department, in-person lectures and case discussions, and hands-on practice on simulators and live models. These training sessions and courses occur in our dedicated Anesthesia Skills Lab and strive to improve learners’ knowledge, skills, and workflow understanding for procedures ranging from intubations to ultrasound-guided vascular access to echocardiography. With CERTAIN’s support, Dr. Ruma Bose was awarded a Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research grant to fund the development of a rescue ultrasound curriculum for senior residents that uses mixed reality.
CERTAIN is at the forefront of developing different methods for teaching. Dr. Daniel Walsh recently created an online Journal Club curriculum to increase intraoperative teaching and is working with residents and fellows to develop interactive branched chain learning modules for various subspecialties. Dr. Matyal is leading an effort to increase peer-assisted teaching in the department where senior residents train junior residents through case discussions and just-in-time hands-on learning. In addition, Dr. Nadav Levy is working to implement in-situ simulation training for faculty and residents.
Technology & Innovation
CERTAIN is leading an initiative to work with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) simulation companies to develop VR simulators for teaching procedural skills, such as transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia, as well as teamwork skills. The Center also supports research using new technologies for teaching, such as Dr. Haobo Ma’s study on teaching fiberoptic intubation skills using 3-dimensional (3D) printing technology, which was awarded with a Society for Education in Anesthesia SEAd grant. CERTAIN is also collaborating with Interventional Radiology in a CRICO-funded study on using motion metrics to assess and provide objective feedback to residents learning central venous catheter placement skills.
Project Pandemic - Efficient and effective teamwork and communication skills Training Using a Tabletop Game
Description: Departmental project on determining whether a tabletop board game (Pandemic) can teach communication/teamwork skills as effectively as simulation; funded by the Society for Education in Anesthesia (SEA)
Virtual operating room team experience (VORTeX)
Description: Multicenter project (with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Albany Medical Center) to develop a shared virtual environment to enable OR teams to train together over the Internet using head-mounted VR displays to develop their nontechnical skills; funded by the NIH/NIBIB
Fundamentals of ultrasound curriculum
Description: Departmental project on developing a curriculum to teach ultrasound to trainees, nurses, and faculty, and developing an index to measure proficiency in ultrasound
Measuring intubation skills in the operating room (MINTOR)
Description: Departmental project on developing a method to teach intubation skills to novice residents using hand motion metrics
Incorporating video-based feedback and deliberate practice in teaching fiberoptic intubation
Description: Multicenter project (with Peking Union Medical College Hospital) on developing a video-based teaching method for fiberoptic intubation
Hand motion assessment for objective evaluation of central line placement: From simulation to real-world application
Description: Multi-departmental project on creating a central line placement training and assessment program using objective hand motion metrics; funded by CRICO
Developing an Online Journal Club (e-Journal Club) Curriculum for Anesthesia Residents
Description: Departmental project to develop an online Journal Club curriculum for residents
3D Modular Airway Model for Fiberoptic Intubation Training
Description: Departmental project on designing a 3D-printed modular airway model to teach fiberoptic intubation skills
Branched Chain Learning Modules
Description: Departmental project on developing interactive branched chain learning modules for various subspecialties
Developing a Peer-assisted Teaching Method for Medical Trainees
Description: Departmental project on enhancing peer-assisted teaching initiatives where senior residents teach junior residents through case-based discussions and just-in-time hands-on learning
Developing a Rescue Ultrasound Curriculum
Description: Departmental project on developing a milestone-based curriculum to teach senior residents when and how to use rescue ultrasound
Meet Our Team
Robina Matyal, MD
Director, Center for Education Research, Technology and Innovation
Vice Chair, Education
Associate Professor of Anaesthesia
Dr. Robina Matyal is a distinguished anesthesiologist, educator, and research investigator. She received her medical degree from the Army Medical College in Pakistan and did her initial internship and residency training at the Combined Military Hospital in Kharian, Pakistan. She came to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 1977 and did Research Fellowships in Surgery and Pulmonary Critical Care. Dr. Matyal subsequently did an Anesthesia Residency at BIDMC, followed by fellowships in both Anesthesia and Vascular Anesthesia. She is an Associate Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School, Director of Vascular Anesthesia at BIDMC, and Co-Director of the Valve Research Group at Harvard Medical School.
Cullen D. Jackson, PhD
Associate Director (Research), Center for Education Research, Technology and Innovation
Instructor in Anaesthesia
Dr. Jackson’s research focuses on applying cognitive science and human factors engineering theories and methods to challenges in the surgical setting with particular focus on individual, team, and system performance assessment and augmentation to improve quality and patient safety. He frequently teaches on using game-based training to teach non-technical skills, and he has 25 scholarly works in print, as well as numerous conference posters and talks, focused on simulation-based training and education, virtual reality, performance assessment, and information visualization. Dr. Jackson completed his postdoctoral training in the Visualization Research Lab in the Department of Computer Science at Brown University, and he earned his Ph.D. and Sc.M. degrees in Experimental Psychology from Brown University in Providence, RI, and a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Psychology from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.
Aidan Sharkey, MD
Associate Director (Clinical), Center for Education Research, Technology and Innovation
Instructor in Anaesthesia
Aidan Sharkey, MD graduated from the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin and undertook his residency training in Anesthesia from the College of Anesthetists of Ireland. After completion of his residency training, he undertook both Cardiac and Obstetric Anesthesia fellowships in Canada at Mount Sinai and Toronto General Hospitals after which he joined Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston as a staff anesthesiologist. His research interests include transesophageal echocardiography and point-of-care ultrasound.
Director, Medical Student Education, Anesthesia
Program Director, Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Fellowship; Program Director, Adults Structural Heart Anesthesia Fellowship
Chief of Anesthesia, BID Needham
Executive Vice-Chair, Anesthesia; Program Director, Obstetrical Anesthesia Fellowship
Director of Resident Simulation; Anesthesia
Director, Obstetric Anesthesia
Director, Cardiac Anesthesia; Director, Perioperative Echocardiography
Director, Pain Medicine Fellowship
Director, Anesthesia Residency
Program Director, Critical Care Fellowship
Director, Pre-Admission Testing (PAT)
Clinical Floor Manager, East and West Campus
Regional Director and Acute Pain Services; Program Director, Regional Anesthesia Fellowship
Vice-Chair, Quality Safety and Innovation; Director, Perioperative Quality and Safety Fellowship
Associate Program Director, Anesthesia Residency; Clinical Floor Manager, East and West Campus
Associate Program Director, Anesthesia Residency
Vice Chair, Professional Affairs
Director, Medical Student Education
Associate Program Director, Anesthesia Residency; Director, BID Plymouth ICU
Director, Categorical Internship
Michael Chen, BS
Education Research Assistant
Shirin Saeed, MBBS
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Vanessa Wong, BS
Rayaan Yunus, BS
Clinical Research Assistant