|It’s a sunny afternoon in San Diego and a group of second-year students from the military medicine track at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) in Parker, Colorado, are attending a barbeque. Suddenly, in a scene worthy of Hollywood, the grill explodes.
Actors, some of whom are amputees, wearing cut suits, which are surgical simulators that can squirt blood and mimic all manner of orthopedic injuries, scream as students rush to aid them. A cast of real-life California firefighters, police, paramedics, EMTs, border patrol agents and journalists, playing themselves, are also responding to the disaster. Once the “patients” arrive at an on-set hospital, students perform simulated surgeries on them under the direction of physicians and emergency medicine residents.
It’s all part of RVUCOM’s Hyper-Realistic® intensive surgical and trauma skills course for students in the school’s military medicine track. “During the immersion, students live in a village on a movie set where we reproduce in miniature all kinds of disastrous events, including bomb explosions, collapsing buildings, and active-shooter incidents,” explains retired Army colonel Anthony J. LaPorta, MD, who directs the military medicine track. Dr. LaPorta says the intense sights and sounds of the four-and-a-half-day training, which takes place at a simulation lab run by Strategic Operations on its former San Diego film studio, are designed to prepare students for situations they could encounter in the armed forces.
On 29 June through 4 May 2018 students from RVUCOM’s military medicine track will be joined by students from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) at Western University of Health Sciences.
Overhead catwalks and video camera systems enable live viewing and after action review. Forty-five live-action, Hyper-Realistic® simulations of both medical and surgical problems will be created, immersing the participants from point of injury all the way through the ER and OR.
Thirty-five surgeries will be performed on live humans – wearing Strategic Operations’ simulators called “Cut Suits®.”
The Intensive Surgical & Trauma Skills Course will soon be opened to other medical schools.