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The Innovative Summer School Simulates Surgical Experience

CHI’s surgical summer school that runs for the first time now, has attracted students from all over the world. Here, it is the advanced simulation tools that make it possible to get hands-on experience with different procedures before touching an actual patient.

By: Anton Willemann, Communication Consultant, The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Two rows of advanced simulation machines fill a large, bright room on the 1. floor in the Teilum building at Rigshospitalet. There are different organs on the computer screens, which 26 medical students from all over the world with help from virtual reality attempt to operate on.

The machines are advanced and expensive in purchase, and the students do not normally get the opportunity to practice on one before he or she comes to the hospital’s operating room for apprenticeship.

Unique opportunity for practical experience

For Lucia Marasini, who daily studies medicine at University of Genova in Italy, the summer school was a unique experience, which she would have never been offered back home in Italy.

“In my home country, there are no possibilities to work with these kinds of advanced simulation machines. We only have the possibility to study surgery in theory, in books. But if you want to be a skillful surgeon, then you have to practice practically.”

Surgery is a craft

It is also an excited course director, clinical professor and research director of CAMES Lars Konge, who has had the first team of summer school students through. Lars Konge looks forward to more students in the long term getting the opportunity of attending the course.

“Simulation training is a necessity! Surgery is a craft that demands hand-on training”, says Lars Konge. ”One cannot learn to play the piano by reading nodes. An untrained pianist sounds bad, and an untrained surgeon is directly dangerous for his/her patients. At CAMES, the vision is that one practice, before performing procedures on patients,” he underlines.

Attracting international talent

During the three week long summer school period, the students have also been introduced to study and career opportunities in Greater Copenhagen. The students have among other listened to presentations about, how it is to be a doctor in Denmark along with being on a visit at Novo Nordisk. The hope is to give some of the foreign students the desire to turn back to the region either to study or when they have completed their degrees as doctors.

The summer school is established in a close collaboration between the three CHI-partners: The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen Municipality and the Capital Region of Denmark’s simulation center CAMES (Copenhagen Academy for Medical Education and Simulation) at Rigshospitalet).

It is financed by the Capital Region of Denmark’s Regional Growth and Development strategy (ReVUS):

Den Europæiske Socialfond