Dr. Paul O' Connor - Simulation Programme Director

Healthcare Simulation and Patient Safety Course Directors

Paul O’Connor, PhD, MSc, BSc (Hons)

Dr O’Connor holds a PhD in Psychology from Aberdeen University, Scotland and has over 12 years’ experience in developing, delivering, and evaluating training designed to improve performance in high risk environments (e.g. healthcare, nuclear power and military) in the UK, U.S, and Ireland.

He has developed and evaluated a number of training, and other systems, designed to improve the performance of U.S. Navy Special Forces and U.S. Naval aviation. He was also the Deputy Director of the Modelling, Virtual Environments and Simulation Center at the Naval Postgraduate School, California.

Paul is the Director of Research at the Irish Centre for Applied Patient Safety and Simulation (ICAPSS) at Galway University Hospital and NUI Galway. Paul has worked in the National University of Ireland, Galway for the last three years where he is a lecturer in Primary Care. He has authored more than 80 publications concerned with improving human performance in high-risk work environments.

Dr. Dara Byrne

Dara Byrne MD, FRCSI, MCh, CHSE-A

Professor Byrne is Professor of Simulation Education in Healthcare at the School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland and the Director of Simulation at ICAPSS at Galway University Hospital and for the Saolta University Health Care Group in the West of Ireland.

She is a graduate of University College Dublin and has a fellowship from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. She has a Masters in Surgery and Medical Education and is an Advanced Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE – A).

Her research areas of interest are patient safety, educational frameworks to support simulation, the doctor patient experience and levels of preparedness for clinical practice and the intern year (PGY1). She has published in both Simulation in Healthcare and BMJ STEL. Her publications and presentations can be found at the link below:


She has delivered multiple educational programmes, workshops and train the trainer sessions and is faculty for the Gateway Debriefing Workshops delivered by the Centre for Medical Simulation.

A keen supporter of innovation in healthcare and is CEO of a virtual patient programme for undergraduate learners and the lead for the National Health Service Executive Innovation Events ‘SparkIgnite’.

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