Sunday, June 7, 2009

Physician Continuing Medical Education

Just when I thought my shadowing experiences had finished I was given the opportunity to explore medicine in a very different way through the Medical Education and Research Institute of Nevada.

Surgical Training

Currently, MERIN is the largest bio-skills lab in the Western United States and boasts their unique second floor observation area. Major medical companies converge on this site to host physicians from around the world for seminars and research on the latest in surgical techniques and procedures.

This well developed facility is housed under the Touro University Nevada roof, yet remains independent of the school. Willing medical students can spend a day rubbing shoulders with physicians as they learn or relearn critical medical treatments. With cadavers as patients, radiographic imaging when necessary, and the semblance of a sterile environment, the experience is the next best thing to performing the actual procedure on living subjects.

Their most recent clinic focused on pain management devices with guest lecturer Dr. James Chao from UCSD. (The subject matter was rather fitting as I recently finished shadowing a local anesthesiologist/pain management physician.) MERIN clinics host knee, shoulder, and hip surgical training to name a few. The two students in attendance moved among the stations with the doctors, networking and learning along with everyone else.

It is one of the few times, recently, that suggests the educational loans we students incur are going to be worth the pain. Although pain management may not be my specialty of choice, this experience certainly opened my eyes to the ongoing effort by physicians to maintain optimal performance and patient care through physician continuing medical education.


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