Simulation center will train the next generation of doctors at U of I

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URBANA-- The University of Illinois' new College of Medicine   will go beyond conventional practices when training the next generation of doctors.

A new simulation center on campus will use virtual reality to get med-school students ready for the real world.

"Our hope is that by the time the simulation center is up and running, it will have new methodologies to train students and medical professionals which is not available anywhere else," said Thenkurussi Kesavadas, director of the university's Health Care Engineering Systems Center.

Thanks to a $10 million gift, the U of I's Everitt Lab basement will be transformed into the Jump Simulation Center, as part of the university's new College of Medicine, set to begin providing an engineering-based med-school education in 2018.   

"Traditionally the healthcare, the medical education, is highly dependent on real patients," said Kesavadas, who will also co-direct the new center. "But if you look at other industries, aerospace especially, people don't learn to fly a plane on a real aircraft with passengers on it. People learn on a simulator."

So at the new simulation center, training will be engineered by innovative technologies that haven't been used in healthcare education before.

"Technologies like virtual reality, technologies like virtual avatars, robotic systems which can mimic real human beings," said Kesavadas. "So all of these interesting technologies which will allow the next generation of students to experience healthcare in a way that traditional healthcare cannot do."
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