Medical students use casualty simulations at Kearny Mesa

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Medical students are mentored by physicians and surgeons from San Diego County hospitals.

SAN DIEGO — Forty-two medical students from across the country are receiving valuable training this week at Kearny Mesa, where they treat patients during simulated mass casualty situations.

CBS 8 spent the day at Strategic Operations, a former television and film studio for Stu Segal Productions, where the training took place.

“This type of training, hyper-realistic training under very realistic conditions, allows you to inoculate yourself against stress so that you can perform much better,” said Kit Lavell, executive vice president of strategic operations.

Medical students are mentored by physicians and surgeons from San Diego County hospitals.

“We’re addressing their resilience, their toughness and their emotional quotient that is actually lacking in medical education,” said Dr. Dean Gubler, director of military medicine at Rocky Vista University. “They learn to assess critically injured patients, perform immediate life-saving procedures, such as stopping bleeding, obtaining airways and finding wounds they can treat.”

Cheyenne Wong, a medical student at Rocky Vista University in Utah, learned how to insert a chest tube on a patient brought into their mock emergency room.

“We took in trauma patients and the chaos started,” Wong said. “People are trying to run, trying to help each other. It’s kind of nice to see how we deal with stress.

Medical student Michael Higham played the role of an injured victim.

He said this training would benefit him for the rest of his career.

“It will help us stay calm and cool and collected so we can go through this,” Higham said. “Having the ability to do it with lower stakes so that when we go into a real situation with higher stakes, we have gone through the process. We have seen these things before and we are ready to handle them.

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