by Michael C. Lowe | February 01, 2013
Many of today's medical training facilities offer state-of-the-art tools such as mannequins that "bleed," simulation rooms that make participants feel like they're under enemy fire in Iraq, and enhanced video capabilities that allow facilitators to capture and analyze every movement a test subject (flesh and blood or otherwise) makes.

These new and newly renovated centers have also invested in meeting spaces, breakout areas and debriefing rooms that come equipped with the latest in technology, from 200-seat auditoriums with built-in audience-response systems to videoconferencing programs capable of streaming high-definition content across the country in real time.

The following is a selection of notable spaces that take the art and science of medical education and its associated meetings literally to new dimensions.

The Center for Advanced Medical Learning and SimulationTampa, Fla.

The $38 million, 90,000-square-foot Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation opened last February with 30,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space, including a 200-seat auditorium with high-speed Internet, audience-response systems and satellite videoconferencing capabilities. The facility also offers its own catering and meeting planning services and is just steps away from the Tampa Bay Convention Center.

Other on-site meeting space includes a 10-seat conference room with Cisco TelePresence and a 38-seat executive board room with 70-inch monitors, "smart podium" technology for easy PC and Mac connectivity, and "electric privacy glass" that can go from clear to opaque with the flip of a switch.
For medical training, the center features 35 surgical-skills stations, a robotics suite, and a state-of-the-art hybrid catheterization and operating suite.

The three-story center has "the ability for any surgical procedure to be replicated exactly the way it needs to be," says Paul Ayres, director of sales, marketing and business development for the facility. For example, the trauma operating room takes surgical simulations to an intense new level. While attendees are undergoing an exercise, instructors can manipulate the environment in the room by controlling the temperature, adding sound effects and even changing a projection on the wall from a tranquil beach setting to a desert combat zone. "The effects are designed to put stress on the team so we can give them the experience of being at war," says Ayres. "When they're out in the field, it's not going to be like a typical hospital, and we want them to feel that here."