Students Race to Save Lives at Sim Competition

“It was a harrowing yet amazing experience…it really reminded me why I wanted to practice medicine.” Ryan Carney, OMS I, described the experience of resuscitating and diagnosing his patient during RVUCOM-CO’s first Electronic Patient Simulation Competition in December. Placed on teams of four, students competed in a series of challenging medical or trauma cases, as exhibited by a Sim Man 3G. The teams were evaluated by eight judges, all of whom are experienced clinicians. “It was a really unique experience, being able to run a multisystem trauma four-and-a-half months into medical school,” said SD Carney. “I don’t think most first-year [students] can say that.”

“To prepare [for the competition], our team spent hours working through various patient scenarios in the simulaDSC_0073tion center,” said Jibran Khan, OMS II, who was a member of the winning team along with fellow second-year students Ethan Sandler, Scott Slusarenko, and Joshua Smith. “The experience highlighted the importance of teamwork in accomplishing quality patient care. Working with the simulation models also served as an additional learning method to strengthen our didactic knowledge.”

The winning team received an amazing prize: a fully-funded trip to Washington, DC to compete at the national Sim Challenge, held at the annual American Medical Student Association meeting in March (spoiler alert: one RVU team finished in the top 4 and one in the top 8 nationally!). “We are very appreciative of all the staff and faculty who worked so diligently to make this event happen,” said SD Khan. “We look forward to representing RVUCOM at the national level.”

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The RVUCOM challenge was organized by David Ross, DO, FACEP, Director of the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track. “I [wanted] to see the integration of simulation training (in addition to our existing Standardized Patient program) into our regular curriculum,” he said. He also developed a volunteer Simulation Scholar Student program last fall, in which the chosen Scholars—Jill Nanadiego, OMS II, Nathan Grigg, OMS II, and Diego Puentes, OMS I—received a variety of simulation training and were able to assist other students. “All of the teams did an outstanding job [with the] intense, stressful simulations. They learned a great deal about simple and complex patient presentations and how to manage them.”

Elizabeth Stoll, OMS II, concluded that it was a humbling, but exciting experience: “It was a fun way to challenge and apply our knowledge, as well as a reminder of all we have left to learn in order to save lives. I am thankful Dr. Ross created this opportunity for our team.”

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