Columbia University Medical Center

Simulation Training Crucial to Medical Education

Artist's rendering of simulation center in new education building.

Artist’s rendering of simulation center in new education building.

In medicine, as in other fields where a beginner’s mistake can be fatal, simulation-based training bridges the gap between learning and doing. At P&S, medical students practice everything from taking a patient’s medical history—with actors playing the part of “standardized patients”—to resuscitation on high-tech mannequins. Midway through their fourth year, students demonstrate their competency in simulated scenarios as part of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination’s Step 2 clinical skills assessment.

The role of simulation training for medical students will increase when Columbia’s new 14-story Medical and Graduate Education Building opens in 2016. The 100,000-square-foot facility will set aside nearly 15 percent of its space for a simulation center: 13,300 square feet dedicated to training rooms featuring standardized patients and computerized, whole-body mannequins..

In practice exam rooms wired for high-fidelity sound and video recording, professors will be able to use playback much as the coaches of professional athletes and musicians do—to highlight effective behaviors and point out mistakes.

Read more in this article in Columbia Medicine magazine.