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Practicing on patients, real and otherwise

New York Times, February 2, 2010

Medical simulation training, which is similar to that used in aviation and in the military, uses mannequins, computers, virtual reality, or actors posing as patients to teach doctors, nurses and other clinicians. Until recently, simulation been limited primarily to teaching standard techniques like chest compressions in cardiopulmonary resuscitation or pelvic exams, writes Pauline W. Chen, MD, in this column published by the New York Times. But over the last few years, as the technology and training techniques have advanced, experts in the field have begun to broaden the scope of training, Chen says.