CESI Simulation Fellowship

Build your medical education and simulation career with a fellowship at CESI.

Established in 2011, The Hartford Hospital Fellowship in Medical Simulation is designed to prepare participants for leadership positions in the field of Simulation Based Medical Education (SBME).


The fellowship provides education and experience to support advanced training in the field of medical simulation. Fellows will gain skills in simulation-based curriculum development and program implementation. Scenario development, delivery and debriefing skills are at the core of training, however this program offers much more. CESI allows fellows to gain leadership and “real-world” experience to become successful as they pursue their passion and develop their career path in this field.

Educational Activities

  • Actively participate and lead the development of simulation-based curricula. This includes performing needs assessment and gap analysis with multiple learner groups.
  • Learn how to implement and deliver a simulation program with a focus on debriefing techniques for a variety of inter-professional simulation center activities.
  • Identify, explore and develop your area of expertise within the field of Simulation Based Medical Education ranging from procedure/task training to administration/leadership.
  • Work closely with the Emergency Medicine Residents from the University of Connecticut Emergency Medicine Residency both clinically and instructing their bi-weekly simulation sessions.
  • Participate in at least one simulation-based academic conference during the fellowship.
  • Gain administrative, operational, and leadership skills by participating in the operations of a 50,000sq. ft. simulation training center that provides training to over 20,000 learners each year.
  • Benefit from experience in a comprehensive simulation center that includes opportunities in wet-lab training, robotics and a full service simulation lab.
  • Work with a broad range of interdisciplinary providers from within Hartford Healthcare and beyond, including industry, military and first responders.
  • Gain experience necessary to pursue a Graduate Certificate or Master’s Degree in Education.

Clinical Activities

  • Perform the duties of an attending emergency physician in both Hartford Hospital’s Academic/Teaching Emergency Department and at the Hospital of Central Connecticut within Hartford Healthcare.  
  • Hartford Hospital is the region’s largest Level 1 trauma center with an active aeromedical program and the state's highest patient volume emergency department (approx. 110,000 patient visits/year).
  • These clinical sites provide a nice balance of academics and independent practice development.

Research Activities

  • Conduct research projects in an area of your interest in medical simulation with support of the Hartford Hospital research team.
  • Work closely with faculty to develop and present your research projects.
  • Write a publishable manuscript by the completion of your appointment. 

Program Details


Faculty includes recognized leaders in medical simulation. Fellows work directly with Dr. Thomas Nowicki, Medical Director for the Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation (CESI) at Hartford Hospital. Dr. Nowicki is a professor in emergency medicine and has over 20 years of experience in the field of Simulation Based Medical Education. He is a leader in the field and has over 10 years of experience in directing a simulation fellowship. Dr Aga DeCastro is the Assistant Fellowship Director and a graduate of the CESI Simulation Fellowship at Hartford Hospital. There multiple EM based simulation faculty along with many faculty from other specialties and fields ranging from internal medicine to surgical specialties.


  • Successful completion of a residency in emergency medicine.
  • Board eligible in emergency medicine.
  • Eligible to work as an Attending Physician at the Hartford Hospital and Hospital of Central Connecticut’s emergency departments.


Options for one-year and two-year fellowships.


CESI (Center for Education, Simulation and Innovation) at Hartford Hospital.

Simulation Fellowship Contacts

Fellowship Director
Thomas Nowicki, MD
Emergency Medicine

Assistant Fellowship Director
Aga De Castro, MD, MPH
Emergency Medicine

Simulation Fellow
Michael Rivera-Rios, MD
Emergency Medicine

Simulation Fellow
Heather Hechter, MD
Emergency Medicine

Program Coordinator
Margaret Reilly





Interested in learning more?

Send applications and questions to Crestina Walker, Program Coordinator or Dr. Thomas Nowicki, Fellowship Director.





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