Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Narrowing Gap between the Classroom and Life; UF SIM Center Allows Medical Training, Minus Risk to Humans

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Narrowing Gap between the Classroom and Life; UF SIM Center Allows Medical Training, Minus Risk to Humans

Article excerpt

Byline: Charlie Patton

Brent Seibel, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, arrived at a former surgical suite turned into a UF medical classroom with a package of sausages.

Glancing at a mannequin named Noel, Seibel asked, "Think we're having a barbecue?"

They were not. These sausages would substitute for human flesh as Seibel's students, a group of residents at Shands Jacksonville, took turns practicing surgical procedures.

As Seibel watched, first-year resident Dawn Bowers, helped by fourth-year resident Steven Dalati, performed a biopsy on a sausage that was being used to represent Noel's cervix.

"They must have used some good anesthetic because Noel tolerated that really well," Seibel joked afterwards.

Then he turned serious: "It's much better to make your mistakes here than in the real world."

"Here" is UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville's Center for Simulation Education & Safety Research (CSESaR), commonly referred to as the SIM Center.

Located in the Pavilion on the campus of Shands Jacksonville, the SIM Center includes about 24,000 square feet and 41 rooms, including operating rooms and an emergency complex that were once part of Methodist Medical Center.

Methodist was purchased by Shands HealthCare in 1999 and merged into Shands Jacksonville. The SIM Center, the second largest such center in the country, opened in 2006.


Steven A. Godwin, associate professor at the UF College of Medicine-Jacksonville and medical director of the SIM Center, said that last year the center provided more than 35,000 hours of training.

Every University of Florida medical student comes to Jacksonville and spends time at the SIM Center. Meanwhile, more than 300 Shands residents train there annually. The center also provides training to nurses, EMTs and paramedics, military medical personnel and even students from Darnell-Cookman Middle/High School, the Duval County public school system's medical magnet.

By using mannequins, many of them computerized, the SIM Center provides training in complex medical situations without putting humans at risk, said Bruce Nappi, the center's administrative director.

"With simulation education, if the robot patient dies, we can push reset," he said.

"There are no mannequin lawyers," added Andy Godwin, the College of Medicine's interim chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

"This is an actual OR [operating room]," said Connie Haas, a cardio-thoracic surgeon who is the College of Medicine's senior associate dean for educational affairs. "We don't have to pretend anything. That makes it easier to suspend disbelief."

Some of the high-fidelity mannequins can simulate all vital signs except temperature, Nappi said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.