More Than 5,000 Students Have Experienced the Most Modern Medical Education in Europe at Masaryk University
The Simulation Centre of the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University has produced its first results. More than 5,000 students have already passed through the most modern facility of its kind in Europe in just four years since the foundation stone was laid and after four semesters of teaching medical and healthcare programmes.
At the beginning there was the vision of the management of Masaryk University and its Faculty of Medicine. To have the most modern simulation centre in Europe, which would show that medicine can be taught differently. That is why a hospital without patients, but equipped with absolutely realistic devices and scenery to support modern teaching methods in medical education, was built on the Masaryk University Campus in Brno-Bohunice at a cost of more than a billion czech crowns. The aim was to effectively educate a new generation of doctors who will be ready for almost anything after graduation. "This was a bold project, the aim of which was not to copy existing simulation centres in Europe or around the world. We had the goal of achieving the implementation of simulation medicine in all parts of the education of future doctors, and this has already been achieved in practice. However, this has only been possible thanks to the team of people who have put their knowledge, skills, energy, passion, and perseverance into SIMU. It is only thanks to them that we can be here now and keep our finger on the pulse of the evolution of medical education in the Czech Republic," says Martin Bareš, Rector of Masaryk University.
The Masaryk University Faculty of Medicine Simulation Centre is spread over an area of 8,000 m² and consists of two underground and five above-ground floors. Students also have a heliport, operating theatres, a delivery room, intensive care units, standard rooms, over two hundred lecturers and over a thousand simulators, with 70 simulators with fully equipped devices in the Department of Dentistry alone at their disposal. The comprehensiveness and modernity of SIMU have already been appreciated during visits by personalities such as SESAM (Society for Simulation in Europe) President Mark Lazarovici, world-famous plastic surgeon Bohdan Pomahač and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. "As Prime Minister, I am delighted that excellent workplaces are being created in the Czech Republic, which are gaining recognition not only in Europe but also in the world. I am even more pleased when I look at SIMU through the eyes of the Rector Emeritus of Masaryk University and a man who was born in Brno. Investing in education is absolutely essential for the development of our society. It is only thanks to those that we can continuously move forward."
Already the first four semesters of teaching have shown that SIMU has exceeded initial expectations, both in quality and volume. For example, in terms of the absolute number of unique students, this department of the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University is already double its original plan for this period. In less than two years of the centre's operation, simulation teaching has permeated almost all years of medical studies, and with it, for example, the evaluation of teaching by students and lecturers has improved significantly. "We originally expected simulation to be a part of the 1st and 2nd year of General Medicine studies at this time, but now it is in all but the 6th year, and in Dentistry in all years. Thanks to SIMU, we are registering an increasing interest in our studies among applicants, not only from the Czech Republic but also from abroad. In my eyes, however, the most beneficial thing for doctors is that we know exactly what our students are going through, how good they are at it, and that we give them a feeling of confidence that they will be prepared for practically all possible situations that may happen to them in the future right at the beginning of their medical practice," explains Martin Repko, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Masaryk University, adding that the research carried out at SIMU has also been recently published in the Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post and the Italian Corriere della Sera.
The Simulation Centre of the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University can simulate practically anything in the field of medicine. This was also one of the goals of the supermodern centre, which, for example, even uses actors to train communication and psychological interventions, and the students themselves become lecturers within the principles of the complexity of learning. "There are disciplines where nothing can replace the practical side of skills, which corresponds exactly to the mission of the Simulation Centre of the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University. With the facilities here, where we have simulators ranging from a newborn to a credible-looking senior citizen, and with excellent teachers who can bring our vision to perfection, we are making a major contribution to the teaching of General Medicine as an extremely complex field," says one of the spiritual fathers of SIMU, Petr Štourač, Vice Dean for Development and Studies in Clinical Disciplines of General Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University and Head of the Institute of Simulation Medicine, who recently received the prestigious Werner von Siemens Prize as the best teaching staff member for introducing innovative, effective and attractive methods into teaching, especially in the field of anaesthesiology and intensive care medicine.