Thursday, April 26, 2012


Our simulation center! Photo lovingly borrowed from their website (credit given below) 

I really need to do a longer post about the simulation center, as a building full of plastic boob models, high tech mannequins that can have almost every ailment humans can have, and a jokester group of (incredibly talented and smart) faculty running the show makes for some of the best times we've had in medical school. But seeing as there's an exam on something about the brain on Monday, preceded by a quiz on the eye/orbit, it's looking like I'll only be able to share a little tidbit from this past week.

Whenever we go to the sim center, we do a two hour exercise where we rotate around four mannequins in groups of four to take a history and physical of a patient "brought into the ER." It's quite a different experience from our compliant, scripted, completely healthy standardized patients. The mannequins are manned by the sim center faculty, who are scarily good at acting out an unlimited number of different personalities that we encounter in "the ER." They sit outside the room and watch what we're doing through a one-way mirror. We're usually pretty good at not giggling too much when encountering this slew of characters, but last week was a bit of an exception.

Our small group had been prepped by our (hilarious) sim center faculty member (we'll call him Bob, to protect the innocent) who was manning our next mannequin. Our patient had arrived at the ER earlier in the day with some neurological symptoms and we were to question/examine him. I opened the door without knocking (UNFORGIVABLE SIN) and was immediately berated by the mannequin AND told by Doctor X (the MD in the room who was watching over us) that I would have failed my OSCE. Whoops. After closing the door and THEN knocking, we entered the room. In the middle of questioning/examining our patient, he began seizing. (Medical school really is just like House!) After the seizure, he began displaying more disturbing neurological symptoms consistent with stroke. Doctor X began asking guiding questions like, "What might be going on here? What would help him?"

We thought back to our basic science course from earlier that day. Ischemic stroke?

"Thrombolytics!!!" We would have made our basic science teachers proud. Sometimes, when we say things at the sim center, they magically happen. ("Let's get a CT! Oh look! There it is on the monitor!") This time, however, it seemed that just saying the name of the drug was not enough. Kind of like real life, I guess.

Doctor X questioned us further. "Who would you call then?" We all kind of looked at each other for a minute, until our FABULOUS teammate (who will remain anonymous to protect her identity) picked up the imaginary phone and declared, "Thrombolytic man?!?!?"


Followed by the door to the room SWINGING open and Bob, the mannequin magician, triumphantly marching in, putting his hands on his hips, puffing out his chest, and booming, "THROMBOLYTIC MAN!"

For the record, apparently "Neurology consult" was the correct answer.

For more information about the best sim center around, please see:

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