By | September 3, 2010 12:00 am

Orlando Health Officials ‘Wowed’ by Medical Education Building

Leaders from Orlando Health (OH) toured the UCF College of Medicine’s new medical education building and learned how the new facility and the college’s integrated curriculum will create a new kind of doctor in the 21st century.

Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, led the tour, which included visits to state-of-the-art classrooms, learning areas and labs.

In the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, Orlando Health visitors learned how students learn to interact with patients from their first week of medical school. Dr. Juan Cendan, the new assistant dean for simulation and medical director of the center, described how the college’s newest class learned about patient vital signs during a recent simulated experience with a patient who had collapsed from shock. But at the same time they were learning science, the students were also learning bedside manner skills in dealing with the patient and worried family members.

“How does this type of curriculum make the students better doctors?” asked Sherrie Sitarik, executive vice president and incoming CEO of Orlando Health.

Drs. German and Cendan explained that through the College of Medicine’s longitudinal curricular themes, patient care is part of every class topic, rather than being taught years after basic science. Through interaction with patients and families, students learn to “place the need of the other before the need of the self,” Dr. German said.

In the Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library, OH officials learned that 98 percent of the library’s holdings are digital, meaning they are more up-to-date and can be accessed 24-7 by students, faculty members and visiting professors. Library Director Nadine Dexter told the group that many volunteer faculty members – including some who work at Orlando Health – keep the library web site active on their computers all day long so they can quickly access information.

Anne Peach, vice president and chief nursing officer at Orlando Health, said she was amazed at the “amazing attention to detail” in the building “that so thoughtfully ties classroom lectures to real life experience. I haven’t found a thing I don’t love about this building.”

At the tour’s end, Dr. German thanked Orlando Health for its partnership and support in helping to create the College of Medicine. As Dr. Ralph Caruana, associate dean for clinical affairs, explained, “It’s important that our partners are coming out to see the vision they helped us create.”

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