A set of stairsay from the right lead to the Thompson Clinical Skills and Simulation Center..

Photo: Courtesy of SLAM

Photos: Tour the School of Medicine’s New Clinical Skills and Simulation Center

The Camilla Bessey Thompson and Paul D. Thompson, M.D., Clinical Skills and Simulation Center offers students hands-on experience in skill development 

Tufts University School of Medicine students and faculty are taking advantage of ample space and innovative opportunities available on the Boston Health Sciences Campus at the brand new, state-of-the-art Camilla Bessey Thompson and Paul D. Thompson, M.D. Clinical Skills and Simulation Center (CSSC).

The University recently celebrated the addition of the center with a kickoff event, at which Dean Helen Boucher welcomed learners, educators, and staff.

“This incredible space combines the latest technology with functional spaces that will empower future medical professionals,” Boucher said. “We all know that practice makes perfect, and we wanted to give people access to the absolute best tools with which they can practice.”

Dean of Educational Affairs and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Laura Baecher-Lind believes the impact of the new center will be significant.

“One thing that I think is important to realize about the increased use of simulation and standardized patient education in medical school is that it also contributes to our mission of being an anti-racist organization,” Baecher-Lind said. “Educational research has regularly shown that bias is a significant issue when it comes to the assessment of medical students in the clinical setting. Incorporating more objective assessments into students’ performance rubrics helps to decrease the bias that students from under-represented in medicine backgrounds encounter.”

Learners in the Doctor of Medicine, Physical Therapy, and Physician Assistant programs, as well as visiting programs from other institutions, will have regular access to the space, which occupies the majority of the second floor at 136 Harrison Ave. and is located one floor beneath the Michael Jaharis Jr., M87P, H15, Anatomy Laboratory.

“I think this center is well positioned as a unique education and training site regionally, with the potential for outside courses that combine both the Jaharis Anatomy Lab and the Thompson Sim Center,” Jesse Rideout, the center’s director and an assistant professor at the School of Medicine said. “We all need to train as healthcare professionals. We all need to learn, perfect, and maintain our skills, and this is exactly what a center like this will provide.”

The Thompson Sim Center, which is 50% larger than the previous CSSC, includes additional simulation and exam rooms, a classroom, flexible debrief and skills rooms, a changing and lounge area for standardized patients who are actors trained to portray patients, and the “Just in Time” space, which allows after-hours access to task trainer manikins for practicing specific medical procedures.

The new space was made possible by Paul (A69, M73) and Camilla (J70) Thompson, the Center’s namesakes, whose gift to the School of Medicine was made in honor of the 50th anniversary of Paul’s graduation.

Alida del Rosario, MG25, said one of the reasons she chose to pursue an education at Tufts was the CSSC. “It has state-of-the-art equipment that will help me safely practice procedures and patient interactions,” del Rosario said. “Now that I am here, I have the best educators and I feel confident that I am being prepared to provide the best care for my patients.”

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