How the Military Is Transforming Medical Education

Physician working with medical equipment
Choose the health content that's right for you, and get it delivered right in your inbox

The military is at the forefront of cutting-edge technology and methodology, from virtual reality simulation to highly strategized training regimens. Medical training and education often borrow best practices from the innovations within the military, and our experts at the Nicholson Center are continuously modeling our methods after what’s been tried and true.

Simulated Practice Makes Perfect

When it comes to training, simulation is one of the most valuable developments the medical industry has learned from the military. As a medical student, you often hear that practice makes perfect when it comes to complex procedures, but some operations are nearly impossible to practice unless they’re actually performed. It’s difficult to put soon-to-be surgeons in a scenario that directly replicates a procedure without harming a patient in the process – similar to a soldier training for direct combat. While more primitive forms of simulation have been around since the 1800s, virtual reality is what gave training the strategic push it needed.

Now, using virtual reality simulators is one of the most effective methods for preparing surgeons for procedures. Not only does it ensure safety, but it also provides a method for objectively measuring skills and progress that wouldn’t be possible in a typical classroom setting or through a written exam. We currently utilize virtual reality medical simulators at our facility, such as the Mimic dV-Trainer and the Simbionix RobotiX Mentor.

Teamwork Goes Beyond the Battlefield

We’ve also put a heavy emphasis on teamwork through training at our facility, and we’ve picked up several best practices from the military. When conducting surgery, especially through a robotic console, a high-functioning, well-oiled machine is essential for the success of the procedure and safety of the patient.

During surgery via robot, both the doctor’s hands and eyes are focused on the patient from within a small, enclosed area. Since they can’t always monitor what’s going on around them, they have to rely on their team to be the eyes and ears of the operating room and to keep the communication lines open and effective. Military-style team training has taught us to emphasize these key goals in the OR:

  • Be ready to act on a moment’s notice
  • Have a backup plan
  • Be transparent with your team
  • Listen actively
  • Turn stress and pressure into effective action
  • Seek advice and feedback

To see our training methods in action, including robotic-assisted surgery and simulation as well as virtual reality team training, book a room and get started.


Recent Blogs

Two ladies talking while wearing masks
How to Respond When a Loved One is Hesitant About the COVID-19 Vaccine
A pregnant woman looking at lab results in her doctor's office
Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Preventing and Recognizing Hypothermia
Heart model
The Advantages of the Nicholson Center Prototype Lab
Robotic Surgery: Emerging Technologies