Gift from METI founder helps advance use of technology in medical education at UF

Dr. Michael L. Good (L), dean of the College of Medicine, presents Lou Oberndorf with the University of Florida Honorary Alumnus award during the 2010 Human Patient Simulation Network meeting in March. Oberndorf is chairman and founder of Medical Education Technologies Inc. in Sarasota, which is the leading manufacturer of human patient simulation and health care education products.

A new professorship established in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida will help further integrate the use of innovative technology in medical education at the state’s premier medical school.

The Lou Oberndorf Professorship in Healthcare Technology was made possible by a philanthropic gift from the Lou and Rosemary Oberndorf Charitable Fund. Oberndorf is the founder and chairman of Medical Education Technologies Inc. in Sarasota, the leading manufacturer of human patient simulation and health care education products. Oberndorf and his wife, Rosemary, created the charitable fund to advance education and make positive impacts on the lives of students at all levels of learning.

“Rosemary and I are extremely proud of this endowment both personally and professionally,” said Oberndorf. “It truly reflects our commitment to continually explore new breakthroughs in medical education technologies and continues the METI-UF legacy of innovation and entrepreneurial success.”

The professorship will allow the university to strengthen its role in the development, testing and integration of simulation and other new technologies that enhance medical education and ultimately improve patient care and safety, said Dr. Michael L. Good, dean of the UF College of Medicine and one of the inventors of the original Human Patient Simulator developed by METI.

“The University of Florida has enjoyed a special relationship with Lou and METI, not just in the development of high-fidelity medical simulation, but in an ongoing commitment to the advancement of health care education and helping to save lives,” Good said.

Good was part of a team of UF anesthesiologists and engineers who invented the Human Patient Simulator in the 1990s. The simulator is a sophisticated computerized teaching tool that is now used in health-care education programs throughout the world.

Based in Sarasota, METI has been a leader in interactive human patient simulation since 1996. METI simulators include baby, adolescent and adult – all designed to mimic human medical scenarios such as trauma, heart attack, drug overdose and bioterrorism.

Simulators provide a safe and cost-effective manner for training future doctors, anesthesiologists, nurses, first responders, military medics and other medical personnel. Computers control the lifelike mannequins to automatically respond to injected medications, changes in mechanical ventilation and other therapies.

“It is extremely important that we continue to develop learning technologies that offer solutions to improve our current health care environment and help produce high-quality health professionals,” Oberndorf said.