NCH using high tech tools to train medical residents

Reporter: Amy Oshier
Published: Updated:
NCH is investing in technology to train medical residents. (CREDIT: WINK News)

The lack of primary care doctors is hitting critical condition as people have to wait months to find a local doctor.

To attract new providers, NCH is pouring a lot of resources into high-tech training for medical residents.

With cutting-edge technology, NCH is using a virtual dissection table to peel back the layers of the human body.

The health system made a great investment when it opened a state-of-the-art simulation center last year. Rarely seen outside an academic medical center, it provides in-depth training, Dr. Doug Harrington oversees the NCH Simulation Center and is also an associate director of the internal medicine residency program.

“We have a lack of primary care physicians in our area. Many people drive many, many miles and even different parts of the state to see a primary care doctor,” Harrington said. “By training physicians, our hope is that they stay in the community.”

Nationwide, as more primary care specialists retire, thousands more are needed to fill their shoes. Enhanced training offers a competitive advantage to in attracting new providers.

Sixteen new medical residents along with six transitional residents will hone their skills on life-like representations, which includes medical mannequins that can adapt and react to almost any real-life scenario. This level of training will make them better doctors.

“There’s a gap in medical education between acquisition of the knowledge and applying the knowledge. So the sim center can actually close that gap,” Harrington said.

Practicing procedures over and over leads to mastery. Resident doctors can also see how they performed.

Nurse Hope Goodwin works closely with residents in the sim center.

“The return on investment with simulation is going to be increased patient safety and better outcomes. So, I am so excited to be able to train these providers before they go into the real practice,” Goodwin said.

Making an investment in technology is also making an investment in the future.

“As NCH grows from a community hospital to an educational hospital, to a heart center to other centers of excellence, we need to be able to educate and maintain that level,” Harrington said.

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