UC Irvine will offer a glimpse into the future of medical education when it hosts an open house Sept. 30 for the recently opened Medical Education Simulation Center.

The crown jewel of UCI’s new Medical Education Building, the technologically advanced, 3,000-square-foot simulation center represents the university’s commitment to excellence in training the next generation of doctors and other healthcare specialists. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with lifelike mannequins that can be programmed to mimic virtually any medical crisis patients could experience.

“Simulation is the wave of the future in the education of medical students, residents, postgraduate physicians and all other healthcare workers,” said Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, dean of UCI’s School of Medicine. “With this technology, we will be better able to teach, test and certify both the knowledge and the skills of our trainees. The ultimate beneficiaries of these advances will be our patients.”

Simulation training – similar to what pilots undergo in learning to fly – lets doctors-to-be practice effective communication during emergency situations and correct medical errors before treating real patients. The center includes a mock full-scale operating room, ER, trauma bay, obstetrics suite and critical care unit.

Instructors can program mannequins to simulate an asthma attack, blood loss, heart attack and other serious conditions. Students and residents then must decide on the best course of action.

“Our simulation center provides a realistic clinical setting where physicians-in-training can gain the necessary experience without any risk to patients,” said Dr. Sharon Lin, director of the facility and assistant clinical professor of anesthesiology & perioperative care.

It’s among only a few in the nation to have mannequins that respond to anesthetic and other gases, including oxygen and carbon dioxide, providing a more authentic and complete learning experience.

Simulation training has been thoroughly integrated into UCI School of Medicine and nursing science courses. Sessions are videotaped and student actions documented for immediate review and evaluation.

In addition to serving medical and nursing students, the simulation center will offer classes for physicians, firefighters, paramedics and others in the local community.

The Sept. 30 open house will take place from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP by Sept. 28 to lsaikali@uci.edu or 949-824-1914.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $3.9 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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