ABSTRACT: Introduction to debriefing.
Debriefing is a lynchpin in the process of learning. As a post-experience analytic process, debriefing is a discussion and analysis of an experience, evaluating and integrating lessons learned into one’s cognition and consciousness. Debriefing provides opportunities for exploring and making sense of what happened during an event or experience, discussing what went well and identifying what could be done to change, improve and do better next time. This manuscript serves as an introduction to debriefing, covering a range of topics that include a brief review of its origin, the structure and process of debriefing-specifically in the context of simulation-based medical education, and factors that facilitate effective, successful debriefing. An approach to debriefing immediately after real clinical events will be presented, as well as an evidence-based approach to evaluating debriefing skills of healthcare simulation instructors.