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Columbia University

Crisis Resource Management

Columbia University via edX


Research suggests that lack of crisis resource management skills in the healthcare profession result in at least 100,000 deaths annually in the United States alone. This course will arm you with the critical skills to effectively make decisions and manage teams in a crisis situation, especially teams of strangers—a common occurrence for many health workers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The course provides real-life examples and simulations for medical professionals to practice these skills.

Crisis Resource Management (CRM) refers to the non-technical skills required for effective teamwork in a crisis situation. Based on lessons learned in the aviation industry, CRM can be applied in the health care setting and taught to practitioners to help teams to manage and prevent crises. This curriculum emphasizes shared decision-making and appropriate team management that crosses multiple disciplines and professions.

This course makes CRM concepts accessible, moving away from theoretical and abstract presentations of the topics. It also contextualizes medical experiences in real-life examples or simulations. The basic and more elaborate concepts of CRM and utility of non-technical skills have a broad application across global health care environments, a curriculum that often is not exposed to health care students, residents, and fellows.

The interactive format of this online course will allow us to explore cultural influences on these principles.


  1. Introduction to Crisis Resource Management
    • History of Crisis Resource Management
    • Medical Errors in Crisis Resource Management
  2. Preparation
    • Assess Yourself
    • Monitor Your Surroundings
    • Know Your Team
  3. Anticipation
    • Balance Attention: Fixation Error
    • Balance Attention: Cognitive Load
    • Balance Attention: Cognitive Aids
    • Anticipate and Plan
  4. Communication
    • Communication During Crisis
    • The 3Cs and Communicating Effectively
    • Call for Help Early
    • Share the Mental Model
  5. Decision
    • Regain Situational Awareness
    • Organize to Team
    • Challenge Authority
    • Create Psychological Safety
  6. Reflection
    • Curiosity
    • Team Reflection

Taught by

Vivek K. Moitra, MD, David O. Kessler, MD, MSc, Jessica Spellman, MD and Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning


4.8 rating, based on 10 reviews

Start your review of Crisis Resource Management

  • Anonymous
    Crisis Resource Management course was more than I hoped in very unexpected way. My initial expectations were to learn more about logistics and technicalities of the crisis management, but actual CRM course provided universal self, team, situational management in very thoughtful manner that I can use across multiple situations and multiple scenarios. It really helped to expand my mindset. Big compliments to creators and the lead professors of this course!
  • Anonymous
    As a not native speaker I found the course easy to follow, thanks to the short videoclips with great animations. The crisis scenario film was a great help to visualize the theory from the course.

    The additional further reading was worth reading, only 2 articles could not be attended due to not being subscribed to the platform.

    Thanks guys, great job.
  • Anonymous
    Educational, informative. Adds structure to a process that evolves in a crisis. That structure will keep you addressing the problems at hand and if you should feel uncertain, blocked about how to proceed, this course enables you to prioritize and plan actions. Very good course. Give it my highest recommendation.
  • Anonymous
    I found the course very beneficial. Although I use may of the techniques discussed in this course, I still found a number of areas that enlighten me in ways that I never realized in crisis management. It just goes to show you that you can always learn a new variation in a area that you are familiar in.
  • Anonymous
    This course is really usefull, I can apply to daily work life to develop myself and can share the knowledge that I learn from this course to the team. All toolare perfect easy to understand.
  • Anonymous
    Very good course. Relevant and provides structure and methods to deal with crises and recover if situational awareness is lost. Recommend it highly
  • Anonymous
    I have just completed this course and work in another sector, not medicine. I was interested in understanding the correlation between CRM in Aviation and in Medicine, and found the concepts taught can be easily applied to any life engagement, wither it be business interactions or personal interface. I enjoyed this course very much primarily as an eye-opener towards enhanced operational or organizational planning and management, beneficial communication techniques and needed situational awareness, but particularly own self-awareness.
    I'd recommend it 100%!
  • Profile image for Kevin Cadore
    Kevin Cadore
    Great course.. I've learnt so much about myself and my cognitive biases just by taking this course. I've also learnt after all these years of working with groups the difference between debriefing and defusing.. thanks to the team for a strong course
  • Anonymous
    Video dramatizations and scripted conversations between experts engage the student. Repeated exposure to core concepts and brief tests reenforce recall. This class is online education at its best.
  • Anonymous
    This is a well organized course that presents the material in a fun and engaging manner. I highly recommend it.

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