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[December 3, 2008]

SUNY Downstate Opens Advanced Learning Resource Center:
Lifelike Mannequin Is Featured Addition to Teaching Tools


SUNY Downstate Medical Center has opened an Advanced Learning Resource Center (ALRC), a multi-disciplinary teaching and training facility featuring iStan, a lifelike patient simulator mannequin used to teach students and train health professionals.

The mannequin’s human patient simulation technology not only mimics symptoms but also responds directly to treatment administered by trainees including oxygen, intravenous drugs, and defibrillation, bringing real life emergency scenarios to the training field.

The ALRC is also designed as a model for interdisciplinary training. John C. LaRosa, MD, president of Downstate, said, “We have talked a long time about training health professionals together, because we never work in a vacuum. Physicians, nurses, and other health professionals work together. This new technology makes it possible for us to learn together.”

Downstate’s ALRC is based in the Medical Library and represents the first phase of an ongoing process to enlarge interdisciplinary simulated learning. The iStan mannequins are also used by the Department of Emergency Medicine for special classes in the emergency rooms at Downstate’s University Hospital of Brooklyn and at Kings County Hospital Center. An iStan mannequin was recently featured on an episode of the television series, “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Downstate employs its patient simulator mannequins for training in the increasingly important area of using ultrasound for diagnosing a variety of conditions in emergency situations. According to the Radiological Society of North America, ultrasound can offer real-time delineation of various pathologies, which is especially useful in the emergency room setting.

Before patient simulation, healthcare trainees were restricted to practicing on unresponsive mannequins. Simulation provides a lifelike, interactive and visual solution to train those we depend on to protect us in health emergencies.



SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a Graduate Program in Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

Downstate ranks eighth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.