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Jun 09 2011

Into the Woods with NYCOM

Old Westbury, NY (June 9, 2011) ─ How do you politely refuse a “delicacy” of cow meat dipped in bovine blood? How do you treat a monk’s serious head injury if you can’t touch him?

Students at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of NYIT had little time to think of the answers as they were thrust into scenarios they might encounter in coming weeks during medical training trips to El Salvador and Ghana.
 
Two dozen NYCOM students participated in the simulation exercises under the watchful eyes of faculty members and others who rated their performance. As temperatures reached 90 degrees, the woods behind Rockefeller Hall were transformed into rural villages, where volunteers played the parts of locals and, in one case, the injured monk and his traveling companion.
 
“No head! No head!” the acting companion shouted at the doctors as they tried to stop the flow of blood painted on the monk’s head. “Back, back!” he yelled at the female doctors, warning that women were forbidden to touch the monk.
 
Within minutes, the team taught the agitated companion how to clean the wound and wrap the monk’s head in gauze, even as he insisted that they would leave for a three-hour trip back home.
 
“No. Stay,” the student-doctor said firmly. “We want to help,” said another. A third imitated a person fainting to warn that the monk would be injured hurt if he left.
 
Moments later, it was back to the real world as the students munched pizza in a Rockefeller Hall classroom and watched their recorded performance.
 
“We know you know what you know,” said Dr. Anthony Errichetti, chief of virtual medicine. “But when you’re put under pressure, you forget what you know.”
 
Errichetti and others stressed the need for the students to show respect, use appropriate body language, act like a team, and ask questions of local experts. 
 
For the scenario where villagers insisted that the doctors eat blood-drenched meat, the group concluded that remaining polite, making up excuses about dietary restrictions, or asking questions that showed respect for the hosts might be the best course of action. 
 
Fourteen students leave for Ghana this weekend, where they will address health concerns in several villages. As part of the trip, some will present an original puppet show designed to stress the importance of using bed nets to prevent malaria. The show and puppets were developed in partnership with NYIT’s School of Education. In July, 10 NYCOM students will travel to El Salvador.  
 
About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in more than 90 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 15,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
 
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, 89,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit nyit.edu.
 
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Contact:
Elaine Iandoli
Writer/Reporter
516.686.4013
 
 


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