Although its training programs began months earlier, the Howard and Joyce Wood Simulation Center at Washington University School of Medicine was officially dedicated on Dec. 3, 2008, at a gala that drew many supporters, faculty and medical school administrators.
The center was created to provide more opportunities for Washington University medical students, interns and residents to learn skills in a low stress, high-fidelity environment before encountering patients in the clinic and hospital. The center has four simulation suites with high-fidelity mannequins that mimic cardiopulmonary conditions, which are guided by an instructor in a control room. Students also learn other skills, such as how to perform physical exams (on plastic models), in a task training room.
The 5,600-square-foot facility was named after Howard and Joyce Wood, both of whom are business and civic leaders and longtime supporters of the university. The Woods — acting on the belief that people should give back to their community — had made a gift to Washington University School of Medicine.
“Simulation training provides medical students and health care professionals an opportunity to develop essential skills and obtain experiences in a high-acuity, high-fidelity setting,” said David J. Murray, MD, professor of anesthesiology and the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor, who directs the simulation center. “These experiences increase their skill and confidence in caring for patients, which, in turn, directly impacts patient safety.”
Among its trainees, the center serves first-year medical students in the cardiovascular/physiology selective and third-year students participating in their surgical clerkship. It is one of four simulation centers at the medical school. The others are the Clinical Simulation Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Surgical Skills Lab for general surgery residents, and the Saigh Pediatric Simulation Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which is scheduled to open in March 2009.
Joyce and Howard Wood cut the ribbon to dedicate the Howard and Joyce Wood Simulation Center at Washington University School of Medicine. Looking on are (l-r) Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton; David Murray, MD, the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Professor and director of the Center; Mary Klingensmith, the Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Teaching Fellow and associate director of the Center; and Larry Shapiro, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.