Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, operates an advanced simulation center devoted solely to ultrasound training for cardiologists and anesthesiologists. “This is a one-of-its-kind TEE simulation center,” says Dr. Feroze Mahmood, Director of Vascular Anesthesia and Echocardiography for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “We get visitors from all around the world.”
Anesthesiologists, says Mahmood, have become the “eyes and ears of cardiac surgeons as incisions have become smaller. The transesophageal exam has become an incredible monitoring modality in the operating room for congenital heart surgery, valve replacement and other life-threatening situations.”
At Beth Israel Deaconess, resident cardiologists and anesthesiologists train twice weekly in sessions that last two to three hours. The center also offers one-week intensives to outside physicians, and those sessions are booked a year out.
Mahmood trains both residents and physicians on state-of-the-art imaging simulators, including the VIMEDIX system, which enables instructors to tailor their sessions to each learner. “Some images are universally challenging, and some are specific to the trainer,” Mahmood says. “The VIMEDIX metrics enable us to see how a learner got an answer.”