September 07, 2016 6:00 AM

Otolaryngology Residents Practice Real-Life Scenarios at ‘Boot Camp’

Simulations of emergency situations in a controlled, calm and safe environment can help train smarter physicians. See how.

Ear, nose and throat residents from around the Midwest come together for one weekend each summer in Ann Arbor, armed with realistic patient models, real instruments and a few enhancements — such as grape jelly and balloons — to mimic ENT conditions.

This simulation boot camp, hosted at the University of Michigan, allows trainees to gain hands-on knowledge about the types of cases they may see while on call. It’s a controlled and safe environment, with experienced faculty, chief residents and fellows offering careful instruction throughout.

“They’re actually using the real instruments and performing the task on the model,” says Kelly Malloy, M.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology and 2016 course director. “That gives them an opportunity to ask questions, to get it wrong and then to practice doing it right.”

“It was nice to have situations that mimic real life,” says Terrence Pleasant, Jr., M.D., U-M otolaryngology resident. “You realize how important these instruments are.”

Watch the boot camp in action in the video above.