A Whole-Person Approach to Education

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine supports all levels training with Simbionix simulators.

The 1,100 students at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) participate in a range of advanced programs and degrees including Biomedical Sciences and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.

On the picturesque campus just outside of downtown Philadelphia, the clinical education and simulation center supports these programs with a 600 square foot emergency room bay, 19 standardized patient rooms with video observation/evaluation to keep an eye on the learner’s progress, training and conference rooms for debriefing, realistic mannequins, and a wide range of Simbionix simulators from Surgical Science.

The challenge

The goal to provide hands-on experience during all stages of learning was a challenge. Medical students, interns and residents all have different needs.  Then, add the complexity of a wide range of medical skills to be mastered including pulmonary and critical care, orthopedic, and general surgery.  The needs are many.

The solution

PCOM now has a wide range of simulators to support their requirements. The use of medical and surgical simulators are built into the curriculum from the moment that they walk on campus until graduation.  The sim center offers extended hours on nights and weekends for students to practice hands-on skills acquisition when their schedules will allow.  Since the Simbionix simulators are intuitive, students can engage without supervision.  This freedom to learn in a safe environment with self-guided tasks and procedures, as well as benchmarks and scoring, allows trainees to practice until skills are mastered.

“In this age of digital and video games, simulators are a natural way for students to learn,” said Brian Rudd, Simulation Program Administrator.  “The Simbionix simulators help the learning curve with basics such as depth perception and becoming comfortable with the non-dominant hand, to the mastery of skills and procedures long before operating on patients.”

Always striving to have the most advanced learning tools available, PCOM offers the Simbionix LAP Mentor simulator for laparoscopic surgical training.  Capabilities include training on basic tasks and suturing as well as procedural modules for General Surgery, Gynecology, Urology, Colorectal, Bariatric and Thoracic. The addition of the Virtual Reality headset transforms the training experience to an even more immersive one and allows the trainee to experience the procedure in the virtual operating room.

Since there is such a need for robotic surgeons, the RobotiX Mentor simulator prepares tomorrow’s surgeons with the most sophisticated learning tools available.  Curriculum includes basic and fundamental tasks which allows learners to develop the needed skills for robotic surgery as well as procedural modules across multi-disciplines: Gynecology, Urology, General and Thoracic Surgery. Since some modules are the same on the LAP Mentor and RobotiX Mentor, learners enjoy trying procedures on both and compare techniques.

The ARTHRO Mentor is used for arthroscopic surgical training with the knee mannequin the most popular with the students for learning.

The ANGIO Mentor endovascular simulator is one of the first Simbionix products purchased and is still in use today.

The GI-BRONCH Mentor was a recent addition at PCOM to support their GI endoscopy and flexible bronchoscopy training requirements.

These simulators are all supported by one point of contact for service for all simulators.

The Advantage

The Simbionix simulators coupled with additional clinical skills achieved through standardized patients and mannequins, as well as the mentoring from their professors, fully supports the students during their years at PCOM.

Students, interns and residents all obtain various levels of training and the Simbionix simulators provide them with a range of skills based on where they are in the learning cycle.  From identifying anatomical landmarks to the mastery of a diverse range of medical and surgical procedures, the student’s needs are supported.