May 8, 2018 — Accomplished medical educator and pediatric emergency medicine physician Mary Patterson, M.D., M.Ed., was recently named the UF College of Medicine Lou Oberndorf Professor in Healthcare Technology. She will begin her professorship in the UF department of emergency medicine, as well as her role as assistant dean and director of the UF Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation, July 1.
Dr. Patterson currently serves as associate vice-chair of medical education and executive director of research in simulation at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. She brings to UF decades of experience in medical education, and simulation specifically.
UF College of Medicine Dean Michael Good, M.D., said Patterson’s expertise makes her the perfect fit for this post.
“She will build upon the UF College of Medicine’s rich history of innovation in the development, testing and integration of simulation technologies to create a world-renowned center that links experiential learning, patient safety and patient outcomes,” he said.
Senior associate dean for educational affairs Joseph Fantone, M.D., said Dr. Patterson is an internationally recognized leader in experiential learning and simulation in the health sciences. The Lou Oberndorf Professorship in Healthcare Technology ensures ongoing support for the application of simulation training for future physicians and other health care providers, which in turn leads to improvements in patient outcomes and safety, he said.
The UF Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation, or CELS, was designed to support state-of-the-art clinical skills and team training activities across the UF Health Science Center colleges and graduate medical programs, including patient safety programs within UF Health Shands Hospital. The Louis H. Oberndorf Experiential Learning Theater in the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building currently provides a space for students to train with up to eight interactive, safe and cost-effective human patient simulators simultaneously.
As the founder of the Cincinnati Children’s Center for Simulation and Research, Dr. Patterson served as that center’s medical director for nearly a decade. She is the former president of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and currently serves on the board of directors for the International Pediatric Simulation Society. She received the 2012 Society for Simulation in Healthcare Presidential Citation for Extraordinary Achievements, Leadership and Efforts to Advance the Mission and Goals of SSH.
Dr. Patterson, a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, completed pediatric residency training at Nationwide Children’s Columbus Children’s in Columbus, Ohio, a pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at the Children’s National Medical Center and a fellowship in patient safety at Virginia Commonwealth University. She served as a staff pediatrician in the U.S. Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland while holding faculty positions at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. Subsequently, she served as faculty at George Washington University, Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the University of Cincinnati. She earned a master’s degree in education from the University of Cincinnati, and her primary research interests involve the use of medical simulation to improve patient safety, team performance and human factors related to patient safety. She is a federally funded investigator in these areas.