Amazing Race was here

In Season 3 of The Amazing Race Canada, contestants came to Greater Sudbury.  As part of the race, the contestants visited HSN’s Simulation Lab and were challenged to perform CPR under the guidance of HSN Staff.  Learn more about the Simulation Lab and what it was like to be part of Canada's Top TV Show

The Amazing Race Canada Experience

Dr Anderson Amazing Race 
Dr. Rob Anderson (right) is the Medical Director of the Simulation Lab

 HSN’s own Dr. Rob Anderson had a key role in a recent episode of the popular television show Amazing Race Canada, which aired August 12. When the show made a stop in Sudbury, contestants had to perform a CPR challenge at HSN’s Simulation Lab, located at the Sudbury Outpatient Centre. As the Medical Lead of the Simulation Lab for the past three years, Dr. Anderson was very involved in the filming of the episode and was asked about his experience

What was your reaction when you found out that the show was being filmed at the Simulation Lab and that you would be involved?
My family has never missed an episode.  It is one of our favourite things!  So getting invited to participate was pretty special.  I also have a passion for improving the quality of CPR that people receive if they require it. The opportunity to reach out to the entire country to increase awareness was extremely exciting.  

Did you have to do anything special to prepare for being on the show?
We do these types of sessions frequently, so on our end it was pretty much business as usual. We really wanted to showcase what we do and how simulation can improve performance. The only difference was recruiting people to participate in creating the experience for the racers...without actually telling them what they were doing until the last minute to ensure the integrity of the show is not compromised. That was a little tricky, but fun in a different way! 

What was the filming like and was it what you expected?
I had no expectations.  I think that I was surprised with the number of people involved in making the show as great as it is and the way that such a big team worked so well together! It all seemed to go so fast but we were all pretty tired at the end of it.

What was your favourite part about being on the show?
Hands down, watching the look on my kids face when the preview was shown.  They had no idea and were just speechless!!  It was awesome.

What is the HSN Simulation Lab?

Sim Lab Amazing RaceBefore being relied upon to care for patients, doctors and nurses at Health Sciences North (HSN) have the opportunity to hone their skills in a unique training environment. HSN’s Simulation Lab provides a practical learning space where participants are encouraged to learn and refine skills. 

“Practicing and learning new skills are vital to the implementation of high-quality care,” said Dr. Rob Anderson, Medical Lead for the Simulation Lab. “No different than a pilot practicing in a simulator, our health practitioners spend hours refining their skills in order to deliver the best care possible to our patients.”  

The Simulation Lab, which opened its doors in 2012, is outfitted with state of the art video technology that allows learners to participate in simulations and then analyse the recording in a debriefing room. 

“Once someone has completed a simulation, they will go to a debriefing room and their video is ready to be watched on the screen,” explained Suzanne Lortie-Carlyle, Manager of the Simulation Lab. “They debrief for forty-five minutes and it’s the best part of the whole teaching experience because this is where they can see what they did well and what they can improve on”.   

Although the lab is a vital part of educating new doctors and nurses, current health care professionals can use the facility to learn a new skill or practice a procedure they have not done in a while.       


“I love seeing highly-trained professionals get excited about learning again,” said Dr. Anderson. “It is really something special to see a nurse or physician who is busy with their clinical practice, come to the simulation lab and try something new.  It is very rewarding.” 

As part of HSN’s effort to make learning as practical as possible, the lab has child and adult manikins which can simulate a host of different medical conditions. Before the simulation, each manikin is carefully prepared with clothing, makeup and even fake blood to increase the authenticity of each situation. This high-level of detail improves learning outcomes, which in turn benefits patients. 

“The main benefit of the Simulation Lab is improved patient safety,” said Lortie-Carlyle. “It’s a safe environment to learn from mistakes and improve. It benefits our patients and ultimately, our community.”