The transition from medical textbooks to a clinical setting often leads to mistakes by well-meaning but inexperienced medical students. To try to help them learn in a risk-free setting, McGill has opened a Medical Simulation Centre to
offer hands-on training. Situated in the basement of the Galeries du Parc, the centre is the largest, most comprehensive
medical skills simulation and learning facility in Canada.
It combines training techniques from high-risk professions like
aviation and emergency response with the latest medical simulation technologies.
“This was an initiative from a group of surgeons,” said Linda Crelinsten, manager of the medical simulation centre. “The idea was just to do surgery and then people found that after some discussion, that it would be best to try to incorporate a lot of other skills that a lot of clinicians need.”
The World Health Organization estimates that one in every 10 hospital patients suffers from medical mistakes leading to serious and sometimes fatal consequences.
The focus of the simulation centre moved away from technical skills and towards developing a multidisciplinary center for all health care professions, according to Crelinsten. The centre will be used by McGill students in medicine, nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, as well as those doing their residencies.
The funding for the centre came from the Faculty of Medicine, the Ministry of Education and from donors.
According to Crelinsten, the use of the centre is currently only offered to classes.
“It’s class-based. A nursing class has been here three times, which has been planned since April. The instructors know exactly what they want them to do, so people have to have objectives for their course. We hope to have some time for students to practice, but that hasn’t been set up as of yet,” Crelinsten said.