UIC Opens New Simulation And Integrative Learning Institute For Medical Students

Nancy Harty
September 19, 2019 - 8:27 am
Dr. Christine Park, UIC Simulation and Integrative Learning Institute

WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine is cutting the ribbon Thursday on a new simulation center. 

"This mannequin here has eyes that blink, pupils that can constrict," said Dr. Christine Park.

UIC Simulation and Integrative Learning Institute
WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty

Director of Simulation Dr. Christine Park showed WBBM Newsradio one of the mechanical patients at the Simulation and Integrative Learning Institute. There are also human actors who will take on various roles to help the students learn. 

The Simulation and Integrative Learning Institute has exam rooms, inpatient rooms, and an operating room among its 28,000-square feet of space. Dr. Park said it'll help medical students to keep up with the latest advances.

"Healthcare is quickly changing, so yeah, you have to learn new skills as they come onto the market," she said.

Dr. Park compares the simulation training to what's regularly required in commercial aviation.

"If you don't simulate, you don't fly. These are for trained, practicing pilots," she said.

UIC Simulation and Integrative Learning Institute
WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty

To help prepare medical students, the college has simulated a patient dying by using a hi-tech mannequin.

"We are going to have to do chest compressions, put a breathing tube in, and put in IVs that we would never want to happen on a real person, but that mannequin was voiced, through a microphone," Dr. Park said.

She said the new space even has a separate entrance, so medical students won't run into the actors portraying their patients.

UIC Simulation and Integrative Learning Institute
WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty

The $23 million institute officially opened last month. 

With two other new simulation centers on campus, UIC will offer more than 50,000 hours of such learning each year.