Students vie to treat emergencies at nation’s largest medical simulation competition

By Jan Jarvis

Sim Web
Teams from across the country will practice handling emergencies during the largest medical simulation competition in the nation Saturday and Sunday at UNT Health Science Center.

The second annual Student Initiative in Medical Simulation, or SIMS National Conference, gets underway at 8:15 a.m. Saturday in the Medical Education and Training building.

The event is hosted by UNTHSC and includes skill labs, a SIM lab competition and poster presentations. The keynote speaker is Tyson Pillow, MD,Emergency Medicine Residency Program Director at Baylor College of Medicine.

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During the competition, teams compete head-to-head by working through challenging cases and demonstrating how to effectively take histories, do physical exams, make diagnoses and develop evidence-based treatments, said Michael Baillio, third-year student in the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and a member of the Board of Directors for the Student Initiative in Medical Simulations.

The competition takes place in UNTHSC’s Patient Simulation Laboratory, which has robotic manikins programmed to simulate critical situations such as giving birth, dangerous heart irregularities, abnormal blood pressure and breathing problems.

“Students who participate in the conference benefit from cutting-edge procedural skills workshops, led by students and residents in the medical community,” he said. “We also offer a poster presentation and judging session to encourage students to participate in medical research.”

Teams aregiven eight minutes in a simulated clinical setting and then are judged by a panel of emergency room physicians, said Nancy Tierney, PhD, Director of Simulation at UNTHSC.

“Participants are judged on their performance for teamwork, appropriate care ordered, performance of appropriate tasks and procedures, and medical knowledge,” she said. “The students’ performance at the competition helps them to see and understand all of the practical information and knowledge they learned in the classroom.”

The skills labs give participants an opportunity to practice valuable hands-on skills such as inserting chest tubes and central lines.

Registration is $50 and covers lunch on Saturday and all conference events.

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