By | September 17, 2010 12:00 am

Sanford-Burnham Scientists Tour College of Medicine

Dr. Daniel Kelly still remembers the nightmare of “fighting with that microscope” during medical school. But recently, he and other scientists from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona had a chance to see how new digital microscopic imaging at the UCF College of Medicine gives students a more accurate, high-tech way of learning about cells.

“You have a fantastic space here,” he said of the college’s new medical education building. “It’s a lot different from what I had at the University of Illinois.”

Dr. Kelly, the founding Scientific Director at Sanford-Burnham, said he was also impressed with the College of Medicine’s various learning areas, from large lecture halls to small problem-based learning (PBL) spaces. “The building is designed to be very interactive,” he said, “in both its large and small spaces. It was great to see the PBLs, with so many students studying in there.”

Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and dean of the College of Medicine, joined faculty members in welcoming the Sanford-Burnham team to the new facility and presenting an in-depth tour of its state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories and library.

In the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, Assistant Dean Juan Cendan explained that College of Medicine students receive clinical training from their first week of medical school. Inside the center, computerized mannequins can respond to more than 250 different prescription drugs and standardized patients, actors trained to demonstrate various medical conditions, “work as partners and teachers in evaluating our students,” Dr. Cendan said.

In the Anatomy Lab, Dr. Andrew Payer, professor of anatomy, showed visitors “the lab of my dreams,” with touch-screen computers above each dissection table and cameras that project images to every table as well as to classrooms three floors down. A local physician has taken full CAT scans of each cadaver and “thanks to this generous gift, students learn anatomy and medical imaging at the same time,” Dr. Payer said.

Dr. German thanked the Sanford-Burnham scientists “for being great partners to us,” and added, “We’re looking forward to many years of collaboration as we grow.”

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