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Facts & Visual Tour

Simulation since 1982



Heart of Massachusetts



24,000 sq ft over 2 levels



Welcome to the interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation (iCELS) of UMass Medical School. We offer a level of experience, convenience and scalability that are unparalleled in values, while blueprinted to prioritize learning and safety. Let’s discuss how we could help achieve your next performance goal.



Better Outcomes through Simulation


Innovating solutions for today’s challenges across clinical and health sciences research, professional education, and healthcare delivery

Experience Simulation at the Intersection of Innovation and Humanity - from the Heart of Massachusetts

Worcester, a fertile ground for innovation, has long enjoyed its reputation as the birthplace of liquid fuel rocket in 1914, and the launchpad of the contraception pill which revolutionized reproductive science worldwide in the 1960’s. 

It was under this culture of excellence that UMass Medical School began its simulation activities in 1982, as one of the first standardized patient (SP) programs in the United States, led by medical education pioneer Dr. Paula Stillman, MD. Medical learners in New England would now practice clinical skills with standardized patients who are professionally trained to portray medically accurate and emotionally authentic scenariosas well as assess physical examinations from the perspective of a patient. In recognition of the significant learning values that SPs also offer in post-simulation debriefings, Dr. Stillman popularized the use of a standardized assessment method - the Master Interview Rating Scale (MIRS). This practice of quantifying medical learners’ communication skills through a Likert scale went on to influence clinical simulations world over. 

Innovating from strength to strength, UMass Medical School became training provider for prestigious healthcare education partners throughout the New England region, with activities in Boston, Worcester and Springfield. As a testament to the frequent simulations featured in UMass Medical School’s curriculum, the U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks it among the top 10% for primary care in the nation. In 2020, the Nursing Schools Almanac‘s annual analysis of more than 3,000 nursing schools nationwide ranked UMass Medical School’s Graduate School of Nursing among the top 1% of public nursing schools nationwide. To date, learning sessions facilitated by UMass Medical School’s simulation activities have illuminated the clinical practices of more than 10,000 healthcare professionalsin a region that is world-renowned for its medical care standards.

Today, iCELS is a 24,000 square foot hub spanning 2 levels at Albert Sherman Center at the center of Massachusetts. Dedicated space, technology, resources and people produce highly authentic simulations – be it one that involves highly-skilled standardized patients and high-fidelity manikins for professional skills training, a controlled protocol testing, an entire hospital film production location with easy access to props and additional castor a public health initiative where iCELS is poised to support the goals and learning objectives required. 

iCELS Quick Stats:

  • 20 clinic exam rooms furnished with ambulatory care equipment and supplies
  • Four large simulation scenario rooms that can be set up in various ways to mimic clinical and/or emergency situations
  • Clinical skills lab with 11 beds/stations with an array of patient care equipment and supplies and three stations with wall mounted air/suction
  • Technical skills lab features separate wet and dry lab space to provide training modalities from wet tissue to virtual reality
  • High-fidelity simulators, task trainers
  • Virtual trainers
  • Clinical equipment
  • A community of ~100 standardized patients representing a diverse mix of races, ages, genders and lifestyles
  • Video capture and playback throughout the center; supported by CAE LearningSpace, a comprehensive audiovisual and center management system that integrates the captured audio, video and performance data in a web-based format so that instructors and learners can view videos and data both onsite and remotely for immediate debriefing and ongoing feedback

The iCELS collaborative spirit extends beyond our walls. Let’s partner today to produce supportive learning environments and spark greater outcomes ahead of your team’s real-world encounters tomorrow.  

iCELS-Melissa-Fischer-MD.jpg Melissa A. Fischer, MD, MEd 
Professor of Medicine 
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education (OUME) 
Executive Director for Curriculum Innovation and the interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning & Simulation (iCELS) 






Create a Simulation Program with Us


Online Tours

iCELS-Virtual Tour-Level-3.jpgiCELS-Virtual Tour-Level-2.jpgiCELS-UMass-Medical-Campus-Virtual-Tour.jpg

Images shown in this virtual tour may not reflect the latest development on campus. 
UMass Medical School campus is an evolving space with more facilities to come!

Meanwhile, here are more ways to get to know about the facilities around us:
Student-led Campus Tour, Student-led Library Tour, Why UMass Medical School, and also Why Worcester

In-person Tours

In-person tours of iCELS are currently suspended to comply with pandemic precuations. We will update this space when in-person tours resume on campus. Meanwhile, look around this extensive website - there's a lot to discover about iCELS!

Getting to iCELS

iCELS is conveniently located in the center of Massachusetts, and accessible by different modes of transport. Before your visit, please plan your route with the help of this guide.

Operating Hours

  • Regular business hours are 8:00am–4:30pm, Monday-Friday
    During regular business hours, iCELS is staffed by members of our team to support clinical training and the use of simulation technologies.
  • Activities beyond regular business hours are available upon request
    The facilities remain accessible, however a designated staff/faculty member or approved individual from iCELS must be present during activities scheduled outside of regular business hours. Access to the site after 6:00 p.m. would require the use of university identification cards.

Last Updated: May 21st, 2021

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