COM celebrates re-opening of simulation lab

The William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine celebrated the re-opening of its Interactive Learning Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 27. 
Each of the four buildings that make up the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM) were damaged during the tornado that hit campus on Jan. 21. The college’s anatomy lab was a complete loss and is in the final stages of construction. Repairs to the other three building are now complete, and classes for the new school year began in July. During the spring trimester, the University of Southern Mississippi provided space for the medical school while repairs continued at the Carey campus. 
The Interactive Learning Center, also referred to as a simulation lab, is where students have clinical practice being physicians during the four years of their medical school careers. The center is set up and equipped much like a doctor's office with 12 exam rooms for student practice. Members of the community participate in a “standardized patient” program where they are trained to portray the role of patients. This allows students to practice exam skills, history taking skills, communication skills and other exercises. 
During the first year of medical school, the students cultivate their basic physical exam skills such as listening to the heart and lungs. They are also introduced to tools of evaluation and diagnosis such as EKG, spirometry and ultrasound. During the second year, the students practice conducting the full history and physical in the patient primary care clinic. During their third year, students return to campus to hone in on both humanistic and diagnostic accuracy as well as refine their practice of osteopathic manipulative treatment. During their fourth year, students gain experience with general procedures of a physician. 
Additional workshops on using ultrasound are conducted in the simulation lab, and two high fidelity manikins help train students in teamwork and managing emergencies. The simulation lab is also used for conducting certification classes including Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Advanced Trauma Life Support.
The WCU College of Osteopathic Medicine opened in 2010 and is the only osteopathic medical school in the state of Mississippi. The school emphasizes training in primary care, lifelong learning, research and scholarly activity, and service. Using a community-based training model, the COM educates and trains graduates who are committed to serving the healthcare needs of all individuals, with special attention directed to the medically underserved and diverse populations.
Dr. James Turner (center) cuts the ribbon during a ceremony on July 27 celebrating the re-opening of the Interaction Learning Lab at the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine. The lab was damaged during the tornado that hit campus on Jan. 21, 2017. Pictured with Dr. Turner are people from the community who participate in the standardized patient program.