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Academic and Student Services
Sondra Zabar, MD

Sondra Zabar, MD

Supporting a Learning Healthcare System – Using Simulation to Continuously Improve Telemedicine and Healthcare Quality


Dr. Sondra Zabar is a Professor of Medicine, Director of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and an Attending Physician at Gouverneur Healthcare Service. After attending Brown University and NYU School of Medicine she was a NYU Primary Care Resident and Chief Resident and then served as Co-Director of the NYU School of Medicine Primary Care Residency for 20 years. Dr. Zabar directs NYSIM/NYU School of Medicine Standardized Patient Program and directs the Program for Medical Education Innovations and Research (PrMEIR), which she established in 2006 with the mission of advancing medical education scholarship at NYU and instituting best practices for patient-centered, evidence-based medical education through research, faculty grants, and consultations. She was awarded the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)’s prestigious 2020 Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education.

Dr. Zabar has conducted an extensive program of research on the use of standardized patient-based performance-based assessment, beginning in 2002 when she led the implementation of a 10-station comprehensive assessment of residents’ knowledge, skills and attitudes, which is now adapted for 15 NYU residencies and multiple CME programs. With funding from an ACGME Picker Challenge Grant Award she pioneered the use of unannounced standardized patients in real clinical environments to assess individuals and clinical microsystems. Her research portfolio includes; leadership of two NIH-funded projects (AHRQ R18 grant) to assess the transfer of residents’ skills and quality of patient education from the simulation center to the clinical micro-system and how patient’s social determinants of health are communicated within the clinical team and; leadership of a HRSA funded Primary Care Training Enhancement program to evaluate and pilot the best curricula for training residents and teams for important patient outcomes. Dr. Zabar has developed immersive simulations; Night On Call, to assess readiness for near graduate medical students and interns; First Night on Call, which prepares all NYU SOM incoming interns to participate in a culture of patient safety; faculty onboarding simulation to establish standards for communication and new innovative in-person and remote simulations for telemedicine skills across the continuum. Her team has established the first UME and GME education registries with over 5000 participants and partnerships with clinical systems to incorporate simulation as part of learning health systems quality improvement programs.

A leader in medical education research, Dr. Zabar has presented her work nationally and internationally and published more than 90 articles. She co-edited a book, published in 2013, Objective Structured Clinical Examination: 10 Steps to Planning and Implementing OSCES and Other Standardized Patient Exercises, which is now widely used among medical schools throughout the country and has recently been translated into Chinese.

Learn more about Dr. Zabar