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StoryCorps Tampa Bay: How simulations can prevent medical tragedy

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Courtesy: StoryCorps
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Dr. Yasuharu Okuda speaks with his colleague Philip Wortham about the importance of simulations in medical education.

Dr. Yasuharu Okuda and his colleague Philip Wortham talk about how important it is for new doctors to practice medical simulations before working on the real thing.

Airline pilots spend hours training on flight simulators to learn new skills and practice old ones. However, there are few requirements for doctors to do the same thing.

Dr. Yasuharu "Haru" Okuda is executive director of the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, and he would like to change that.

"I would argue that health care is probably as important as flying a plane," Okuda said. "You would want your doctor, your nurse ... to be as expert as anyone flying a plane."

Philip Wortham is a colleague of Okuda's and is also trying to make health care simulations a part of the education new doctors go through.

Wortham spoke with Okuda about how his wife's near death experience showed him just how important medical simulations can be.