Learning the Skills Of Med Students At SBUMC's First "Project Medical Education"


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    Public Officials, Healthcare Industry Reps, Take Part in Two-Day Educational Program


    During Stony Brook University Medical Center’s first Project Medical Education, Molly Poleto, of the Healthcare Association of New York State, and Felix Muniz, of the New York State Senate Finance for Higher Education (both in white coats), learn how to listen to the heartbeat of a “patient” in the Clinical Skills Center. Andrew Wackett, M.D., Assistant Dean of Medical Education heads the instruction and is assisted by a current SBU medical student.
    Credit: Sam Levitan

    STONY BROOK, N.Y., August 27, 2010 – Local and New York State government officials, as well as healthcare industry representatives, immersed themselves in the working life of an academic medical center during Stony Brook University Medical Center’s first Project Medical Education (PME). During the two-day program, attendees became “medical students” and took a fast-track med school path learning via lectures and hands-on training about medical education, clinical initiatives, and the importance of research. PME took place throughout SBUMC, including a hospital tour and visits to School of Medicine labs in the Health Sciences Center.

    SBUMC and academic medical centers nationwide have faced unprecedented cost pressures in recent years. PME was developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and a group of medical center government relations officers to educate policy makers about financial challenges and the importance of investing in medical centers to help public officials understand the value of medical education.

    “There is probably no better way to help our governmental and business colleagues understand the rigor of pre-medical courses, and the challenges of facing patients with health problems, than to put them in the shoes of a medical student for a short time,” says Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., Dean, SBU School of Medicine and Senior Vice President of the Health Sciences. “The program also helps our colleagues understand what it takes to fund an academic medical center and how to translate basic research into better patient care.”

    The 15 “med students” learned directly from School of Medicine faculty about the importance of research in the development of bench-to-bedside medicines, healthcare reform implications, the need for more physicians nationwide, the role of the anatomy lab in medical education, and other issues pertaining to an academic medical center. Central to their hands-on activities were emergency medical scenarios created by physicians and staff in the Clinical Skills Center. Computerized mannequins were the “patients” in the simulated operating room and emergency room, where the “med students” were trained on how to assist during an emergency leg amputation and revive a patient experiencing a heart attack.

    The program also enabled the attendees to interact and ask questions about new research and clinical innovations with SBUMC physicians, as well as understand new initiatives to broaden medical students training. These included presentations on global health education opportunities and a student-run primary care health clinic.

    Established in 1971, the Stony Brook University School of Medicine includes 25 academic departments centered on education, training, and advancing scientific research. The primary mission of the School is to educate caring and skilled physicians well-prepared to enter graduate and specialty training programs. The school’s graduate and specialty training programs are designed to educate medical specialists and investigators in the biomedical and clinical sciences to be well-prepared to advance the frontiers of research, clinical practice and education.