ACOM announces simulation center expansion

DOTHAN, Ala. – The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) Board of Directors has
approved the expansion and construction of a new simulation center on campus. The new 10,000-squarefoot building will encompass the existing simulation center and will add more than 7,000 square feet to the space.

The clinical simulation faculty worked closely with Carmen Lewis, PhD, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, and Bill Jones, Southeast Health’s Director of Design and Construction, to explore a variety of options for the project. The option recommended to and approved by the ACOM Board best addresses the growing needs for simulation space, without interrupting curricular activities.

“An important catalyst for quality medical education today is providing realistic patient encounters through simulation.” Lewis said. “This expansion will help enhance the experiential learning that defines ACOM’s training of the physicians of tomorrow.”

Simulation is a cornerstone of the ACOM curriculum that is fully integrated throughout the first two years of training, including weekly encounters and skills exercises. The college hosts an internal simulation competition annually, and ACOM has risen to success through its students’ participation in tournaments beyond the college, earning recognition nationally and internationally. In addition, the college offers a unique clinical simulation fellowship program, giving selected students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the role of simulation in medical education.

The construction will double the available training capacity to create eight simulation bays for patient encounters and a larger dedicated skills lab for activities, such as casting, suturing and intubation. In addition, the new center will include a study area to accommodate up to 64 students. The exterior design will coordinate with the main ACOM facility, and the interior will be upgraded to create a comfortable state-of-the-art center. ACOM selected Dothan-based architecture firm Donofro and Associates Architects to lead the design. Groundbreaking and construction is expected to begin in early 2021.