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IU School of Medicine receives $170K to fund simulation in surgical education and training

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The Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Surgery has received $170,000 from the IU Health Foundation to support two new simulation education devices. These devices will allow faculty and trainees to practice cardiac and endovascular surgical procedures in a controlled, low-risk environment.

A $100,000 grant allowed for the purchase of the KindHeart Cardiac Simulator. IU School of Medicine is one of the few institutions to have this particular type of simulator, which uses real cardiac tissue mounted inside of a mannequin to mimic a human patient from the neck to mid-thigh. Simulated procedures include the deliberate practice of coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve replacement (AVR) and adverse event procedures. Faculty and trainees can take surgical tools used in the operating room to the cardiac tissue, which beats and bleeds in imitation of cardiac events, while monitoring vital signs continuously – creating an authentic cardiac surgical experience.

“During cardiac surgery, the operating room can be an intense and stressful environment. Understandably, the focus is on the patient and their outcome,” said DuyKhanh Ceppa, MD, assistant professor of surgery and director of the IU School of Medicine Cardiothoracic Surgery simulation curriculum. “The goal of this simulator is to eliminate that stress and enable faculty and residents to focus on the teaching and learning aspects of the procedure. That way, when residents are facing similar events in the operating room, the environment is more familiar, less stressful and performance is enhanced.”

In addition, the Department of Surgery received $70,000 to fund an ANGIO Mentor simulator that provides hands-on practice of endovascular procedures performed under fluoroscopy in the catheterization lab, interventional suite or in the operating room, across all skill levels and in multiple disciplines.

“Having access to simulators like the ANGIO Mentor allows us as trainees to practice in a completely foreign area while working in a low-stress environment with deliberate practice” said Michael Kasten, MD, a sixth-year cardiothoracic surgery resident at IU School of Medicine. “It’s a great tool for perfecting our technique and getting comfortable with procedures before heading into the operating room.”

These simulators are just two of the recent simulators incorporated into medical education and training at IU School of Medicine. The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery also added an arthroscopic simulator to its training curriculum last fall.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.

Sara Buckallew

Communications Coordinator

Sara Buckallew works in the Dean's Office of Strategic Communications. As a communications coordinator, Sara supports internal and external communication needs for the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research and the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic...