Not just crash-test dummies

By LYNDAL GAWEN

IT IS cutting-edge technology, costs over $300,000, will make better doctors and is here in Rockhampton.

Meet SimMan and his family, eight-year-old child, threemonth-old baby, newborn baby and pregnant wife, all life-like computer people programmed to have normal human responses in emergency situations.

"There are some skills that cannot be taught on people be- cause they are dangerous,'' Associate Professor Stephen Margolis explained.

Professor Margolis heads the University of Queensland's school of medicine in Rockhampton, which has developed a training ground at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital.

Part of the training is the SimMan family, in the Clinical Simulation Learning Centre.

The Mater gained accreditation in January to train doctors in the last two years of their Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.

The simulators provide mock education, throwing student doctors into real-life situations that are safe.

"Students will actually be doing things rather than talking about doing things,'' Professor Margolis said.

As well as providing complex medical situations such as heart attack, electrocution, drowning or a face cut badly by glass in a car accident, the simulators will teach leadership skills, teamwork and ethics, he said.



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