Simulation Center Faculty

Arnold Advincula, MD

Medical Director

Headshot of Arnold Advincula

Dr. Advincula is a leader in minimally invasive surgical techniques and one of the world’s most experienced gynecologic robotic surgeons. He has published and taught extensively in the area of minimally invasive surgery as well as developed surgical instruments in use worldwide. Dr. Advincula is a board certified obstetrician-gynecologist and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

After graduating with honors from Temple University School of Medicine, Dr. Advincula completed an ob-gyn residency and a minimally invasive surgery fellowship at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. He went on to spend 10 years at the University of Michigan where he rose to the rank of Professor. During his tenure there he served as Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Division and Fellowship. He also founded the Endometriosis Center at Michigan. In 2009, Dr. Advincula joined Florida Hospital Celebration Health as Director of the Center for Specialized Gynecology. While in Florida, he served as the Director of the Celebration Health Endometriosis Center and established an AAGL accredited Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery. He was also Medical Director of Gynecologic Robotics at Florida Hospital, as well as Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Advincula was the Education Institute Director of the Nicholson Center, an advanced medical and surgical simulation training facility in Celebration, Florida.

In 2014, Dr. Advincula accepted the position of Levine Family Professor, Vice-Chair of Women’s Health & Chief of Gynecology at the Sloane Hospital for Women, Columbia University Irving Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Advincula brings 20 years of clinical expertise, innovation and leadership to the position. In addition to his departmental responsibilities, he also serves as Co-director of the AAGL accredited Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery. Shortly after his arrival to New York City, Dr. Advincula also accepted the role of Medical Director of the Mary & Michael Jaharis Simulation Center for the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons. Despite his busy clinical and administrative schedule, Dr. Advincula has not only helped guide the growth of the simulation center but also continues to leverage his expertise in simulation-based medical education to help elevate the training of medical students, residents, fellows and physicians worldwide in advanced surgical techniques and optimized clinical care. Dr. Advincula serves on numerous editorial boards including OBG Management where he manages a widely viewed video education channel. Most recently he served 18 months as President of the AAGL and helped rebrand the strategic direction of a global minimally invasive gynecologic surgery society of nearly 8000 members.

Beth A. Barron, MD

Associate Medical Director

headshot of Beth Baron.

Dr. Beth Barron is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the College of Physicians and Surgeons and Associate Director of the CUIMC/NYP Mary & Michael Jaharis Simulation Center. Her clinical role is a member of the Allen Hospitalist Division of Internal Medicine. She earned her medical degree at UMDNJ in Newark NJ and completed her internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN.

Dr. Barron’s role in the simulation center is oversight of the medical students’ practice and assessment activities utilizing standardized patients from early experiences in the pre-clinical curriculum to graduation. She assists in curriculum development, case writing, standardized patient training and assessment development.

She has participated in teaching and administration in many levels of the medical school and internal medicine residency. She is chair of the CARE committee whose charge is to ensure that the medical school provides opportunities for practice, assessment and remediation of clinical skills to ensure competency upon graduation. Her interest in clinical skills development includes being a member of a national study on the implementation of Core Entrustable Professional Activities to Enter Residency sponsored by the AAMC.

Julia E. Iyasere, MD

Associate Medical Director


Headshot of Julia Iyasere.

A native of California, Dr. Iyasere moved to the East Coast to attend Yale University where she graduated with a B.S. in Molecular Biology with a focus in Neuroscience. After a year working in cancer cell biology and cell signaling cascades at Harvard Medical School, she joined the Columbia community at Columbia College of Physician and Surgeons, eventually choosing to pursue a dual degree with the Columbia Business School and graduating with an M.D./M.B.A in 2008. After completing her residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia, Dr. Iyasere stayed for a year as Chief Resident before joining the Section of Hospital Medicine in 2012. During her first year, she completed part time fellowship in Simulation Education and now serves as the Associate Medical Director for the Simulation Center. In addition to her interests in simulation, Dr. Iyasere works extensively in medical education at NYP/CUMC as the Associate DIO for Graduate Medical Education, Associate Program Director for Internal Medicine, and the Associate Clerkship Director for Medicine. In her free time, Dr. Iyasere is an avid yogi and can generally be found at her favorite hot yoga studio on the Upper West Side.

David O. Kessler, MD, MSc

Associate Medical Director


Headshot of David Kessler.

David Kessler, MD, MSc, is a longtime student of the growing art & science of simulation. David’s experience with simulation-based medical education, standardized patients, patient outcome oriented research, quality improvement, and change management has resulted in numerous grant-funded studies and peer-reviewed publications. As the director of clinical simulation for the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Division at Columbia University Medical Center David has focused on leveraging inter-professional simulation (in situ) to grow the culture of safety, strengthen teamwork/communication, and improve patient care. As co-director and one of the co-founders for INSPIRE, (International Network for Simulation-based Pediatric Innovation, Research and Education) an international pediatric research network focused on outcome oriented simulation research in acute care, resuscitation and skills—David has helped to grow a community of practice dedicated to collaboration and mentorship among investigators committed to scholarship in simulation. Personal interests include using simulation to plan and assess new clinical spaces, and integrating innovative technology into healthcare.