Simulation medicine training has dramatically increased over the past decade, and Prisma Health-Midlands has made a tremendous commitment to utilizing this technology to facilitate medical student and resident education. We now offer a one-year fellowship in simulation medicine for emergency medicine residency graduates.  

The Prisma Health - University of South Carolina School of Medicine Simulation Center, in association with the Prisma Health Richland EM Residency Program, is seeking applicants for our Simulation and Faculty Development Fellowship.  This one (1) year program will offer a motivated individual the opportunity to have dedicated learning and practice in the various techniques employed in medical simulation.  Our fellow will contribute to all facets of our operation including curriculum design, scenario development, course delivery, didactics, technology procurement and maintenance, research, and community outreach.  The fellowship experience will significantly enhance the fellow’s understanding of, and skills in, the general principles of adult medical education while establishing him or her as a leader in the field of simulation-based education.  

As a premier center for medical simulation, and one of the early few in the world Accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, the Prisma Health - USC School of Medicine Simulation Center offers a vibrant, interdisciplinary environment to meet the growing demands for simulation-based education and training.  Our 14 staff members and an extensive complement of simulation technologies serve all staff of our partner hospitals and the School of Medicine, as well as many pre-hospital and hospital-based providers across the region.   To learn more, please see our website at Prisma Health-USC Simulation Center.


  • PRISMA HEALTH / USC SCHOOL OF MEDICINE SIMULATION MEDICINE CENTER:  State-of-Art simulation medicine center occupying 7,000 square feet on the Prisma Health Richland Campus and several other satellite spaces at our partner hospitals.
  • A broad spectrum of simulation technologies representing all age groups and modalities for training.
  • 14 full-time staff members with significant expertise developing and delivering simulation-based learning.
  • A multi-disciplinary learner base enabling the operation to focus on crisis resource management and team dynamics.
  • Integration into the core curriculum of most of the residencies, fellowships, and nursing education programs throughout our hospital system.
  • Prisma Health Richland: Level-1 Trauma center serving 16 Counties in the midlands of South Carolina.  Annual census approaching 100,000 patients with over 30,000 pediatric patients and over 2,500 major trauma patients, one-third of which are from penetrating injuries.


The fellowship will be twelve months in length. The start date is negotiable, but will typically begin on or about 1 July of each year. The fellow may pursue advanced degrees in conjunction with the University of South Carolina, which would generally require a 2-year training period.


All applicants must have graduated from an ACGME accredited emergency medicine residency and be board-certified or board-eligible with the American Board of Emergency Medicine or the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine. In addition, the applicant must qualify for South Carolina Medical Licensure. Applicants are not required to have prior experience with simulation, but previous experience is a plus.

The application for the fellowship consists of submitting a current CV, letter of interest/intent, and 2 letters of recommendation (with one being from the residency program director). 

Fellowship applications will be accepted beginning August 1 preceding the year of training and interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis. An interview is required prior to selection for training. Selection for training is determined by the emergency department faculty and simulation center leadership in conjunction with the Palmetto Health Graduate Medical Education (GME) office. Offers are made before or in conjunction with the EM Fellowship match dates in November.

Interested individuals should contact Program Director, Dr. Chris Gainey and/or Program Coordinator Sherry Allen for any questions, additional information, or to apply for the fellowship. 

In addition to an Emergency Medicine graduate position, the program will also consider applications from interested individuals in other specialties in conjunction with the department of the applicant's specialty (in which the fellow would function as a junior faculty member). Please contact Program Director, Dr. Chris Gainey directly to discuss individual opportunities. 


Upon completion of training, the fellow will receive a certificate of fellowship training from Prisma Health Richland and the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Interested individuals will also be supported in pursuing outside certifications specific to simulation as part of their fellowship training, including the Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) certification with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare.

In coordination with the University of South Carolina, a fellow can also pursue other advanced degrees during fellowship training, including MHA, MPH, MBA, or M.Ed.  





Christopher Gainey, MD, CHSE, CPPS

Program Director

Year of Appointment: 2017

Simulation Medicine and Faculty Dev. Fellowship: Prisma Health Midlands 2015-2017

EMS Fellowship: Prisma Health Midlands 2015-2017

EM Residency: Prisma Health Midlands, Class of 2015

Medical School:   University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Class of 2012

Dr. Gainey is a native South Carolinian born in Florence, SC and growing up in Charleston, SC. He received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of South Carolina. 

Dr. Gainey completed Emergency Medicine residency with us at Prisma Health Midlands, serving as chief resident in his final year. Upon completing residency training, he stayed on to complete fellowships in Simulation Medicine and Faculty Development as well as Emergency Medical Services (EMS). 

In 2017, Dr. Gainey took over as Medical Director of the Prisma Health- UofSC School of Medicine Simulation Center. He is a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), and has completed the Comprehensive Instructor Workshop with the Center for Medical Simulation in Boston, MA. He is also a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) and is an institutional leader in the use of simulation in system quality and patient safety efforts.

Dr. Gainey's primary areas of interest in simulation are curriculum design, professional/faculty development, resident and medical student education, debriefing and psychological safety, and systems integration initiatives aimed at improving patient quality and harm reduction.


Current Fellow

Julianne Jett, MD

2023-2024 Fellow

EM Residency: Prisma Health Richland, Class of 2023

Medical School: University of South Carolina School of Medicine- Columbia

Dr. Jett attended the University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Columbia) and completed Emergency Medicine Residency Training at Prisma Health Richland in 2023, staying on as the Simulation Fellow for 2023-2024.



Paul Vandekoppel, MD

2021-2022 Fellow

EM Residency: Prisma Health Richland, Class of 2021

Medical School: University of Kentucky

Dr. Vandekoppel attended the University of Kentucky School of Medicine and completed Emergency Medicine Residency Training at Prisma Health in 2021, staying on as the Simulation Fellow for 2021-2022.


During his fellowship, Paul developed several procedural models for training residents in emergency procedures. Dr. Vandekoppel is now on faculty at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN with the Department of Emergeny Medicine and the Simulation Center with the IU School of Medicine. 

Rachel Thorpe, MD

2017-2018 Fellow

EM Residency: Prisma Health Richland, Class of 2017

Medical School: Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 

Dr. Thorpe attended Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed Emergency Medicine Residency Training at Palmetto Health in 2017, serving as a chief resident during her final year. 


During her fellowship, Rachel developed curriculum for Emergency Medicine resident training, including several simulation scenarios involving malfunctioning cardiac devices. Additionally, she advanced a curriculum for leadership skills training in resident and fellow physicians. Dr. Thorpe is now working in the Emory Healthcare Network in Decatur, GA. 



  • To educate and develop clinicians who wish to gain specialized skills in the field of simulation medicine and become an expert in this domain as their academic pursuit and/or direct a simulation operation
  • To expose interested clinicians to a variety of simulation medicine curriculum development techniques
  • To develop clinician-educators who will effectively incorporate simulation curricula into the training and assessment of medical students, residents, nurses, allied health personnel, and practicing physicians of all specialties
  • To become familiar with the purpose and goals of simulation education as it relates to patient safety, risk management, and increased learning retention
  • To foster research in patient safety and quality improvement initiatives using simulation medicine technologies
  • Fellows work in the emergency department in the role of an attending physician.
  • Clinical workload is 64 hours per month (approximately eight shifts per month)