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Quick Facts & Visual Tour

Simulation since 1982



Heart of Massachusetts



24,000 sq ft over 2 levels



Quick Facts & Visual Tour

Welcome to the University of Massachusetts UMass Chan Medical School's interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation (iCELS). We offer a level of experience, convenience and scalability that are unparalleled in values, while blueprinted to prioritize learning and safety. Please select a topic below to jump to its corresponding section, get to know us, and let us know how we could help achieve your next goal in improving healthcare outcomes!



iCELS Vision

Better Outcomes through Simulation

iCELS Mission

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

Core Belief

Everyone engaging with iCELS deserves respect, brings valuable experience, welcomes diversity and is invested in improving outcomes.  

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 Chan 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 Chan became training provider for prestigious healthcare education partners concentrated in the New England region, with activities in Boston, Springfield, Worcester, and beyond. 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 Chan's 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 in Worcester, at the center of the state of Massachusetts, in the United States Northeastern New England region. 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. However, our activities also go beyond Worcester, as we bring them to Boston, Springfield, other parts of New England, and other parts of the U.S..

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

  • Collaboration with the UMass Chan Medical School's Office of Institutional Research, Evaluation and Assessment (IREA), which provides:
    • Standardized testing
    • Performance-based assessment
    • Exam development and scoring
    • Survey development
    • Data archiving and analysis, using a full range of quantitative and qualitative tools
    • Consultative expertise for educational research and innovation
  • Partnership with the UMass Chan Medical School's Center for Academic Achievement, which provides diagnostic learner assessment and remediation programs to improve learner performance in a range of areas including:
    • Test-taking
    • Study skills
    • Communication skills
    • Clinical problem solving

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-Dr-Melissa-Fischer-MD-MEd.jpgMelissa A. Fischer, MD, MEd 

Professor of Medicine 
Assistant Vice Provost for Interprofessional and Instructional Innovation
Executive Director, interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning & Simulation (iCELS) 


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Tour Now Online

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 Chan 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 Chan Medical School, and also Why Worcester

In-person Tours

In-person tours of iCELS are currently restricted due to pandemic precautions on campus.  In the meantime, please explore the virtual tours and videos available on this page.

At this time, only a limited number of in-person tours are being offered, primarily on Tuesday mornings. Please contact to learn more or inquire about a tour.

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.

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Last Updated: Mar 16th, 2023
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