Fletcher Allen Launches "Doc for a Day" Event

June 22, 2011

Winners will perform virtual surgery in high-tech simulation lab

(BURLINGTON) Members of the public will have a rare opportunity to explore an advanced clinical simulation laboratory as part of a new Fletcher Allen program called “Doc for a Day.”   Starting today, anyone over 18 can enter for a chance to be selected for the program by “liking” Fletcher Allen on Facebook. 

Five winners will be chosen at random to participate in a fascinating, hands-on experience on August 12th led by Fletcher Allen surgeon and UVM College of Medicine professor Michael Ricci, MD. Winners will perform virtual surgeries and participate in simulated emergency room trauma events using technologically advanced, life-like mannequins whose complex circuitry allows them to react as if they were human.

As part of the “Doc for a Day” program, Fletcher Allen’s Facebook page will feature weekly quizzes and prize drawings throughout late June and July.  The initial prize is a balloon ride for two at this year’s Hot Air Balloon Festival, donated by Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa

The Clinical Simulation Lab- a collaboration between Fletcher Allen and the University of Vermont’s College of Medicine and College of Nursing and Health Sciences - is an interdisciplinary, state-of-the-art “virtual hospital” that allows medical and nursing students, physical therapy students, medical residents, physicians and nurses, community EMTs and Vermont National Guard members to practice clinical procedures in a safe learning environment. In the Lab, trainees can “practice” on mannequins with the aim of enhancing patient safety and clinical outcomes. (See details below).

Please visit Fletcher Allen’s Facebook page for contest details and more information.      

About the Clinical Simulation Lab

Key features of the 9,000-square-foot facility include:

  • Six inpatient hospital rooms, each equipped with video cameras for recording and communication.
  • A multi-purpose room that can function as a simulated Operating Room, Emergency Room or Intensive Care Unit.
  • A professional skills/task training lab with body-part models for learning how to perform such procedures as drawing blood, lumbar puncture, and insertion of central and IV lines.
  • A virtual reality lab for practicing surgical skills.
  • Standardized patients - community members who have been specially trained to accurately portray specific roles or conditions - are used in conjunction with simulation technologies

Funding for the project came from a gift of Thomas Sullivan, M.D., who was a UVM medical alumnus and Fletcher Allen radiology resident, and from a $1.75 million grant secured by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy.