A medical education for the future

Monday 07 Mar 2011

CO Architects completes a multifunctional environment that supports a variety of teaching modalities

The Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education (MITIE) serves as a multifunctional educational facility for allied health students, for medical students enrolled in the Cornell School of Medicine and for practicing physicians worldwide to acquire new procedural and patient care skills in minimally invasive surgical training techniques. This unique training centre provides clinical training in a vibrant and participatory learning environment. 

MITIE is housed in 35,000 sq ft on one floor of the Methodist Research Institute tower. Coursework offered to the medical and allied health students differs considerably from the continuing education coursework offered for practicing physicians. Both groups share centralised elevator and reception areas, but the main educational programmatic elements for these two programs are separated from each other on opposite sides of the floor plate. This separation allows for multiple groups to engage in a variety of coursework simultaneously without interruption. While programmatic spaces may be separated physically, a continuous arced wall, sheathed in teak paneling, unifies both sides of the plan and acts as a datum line that separates public lobby and conferencing areas from the more private surgical and training spaces. Open, light-filled rooms with brightly colored walls and streamlined furniture provide welcome environments for users who engage in long and often times stressful, academically rigorous training seminars.

The floor plan is composed of adjacent multifunctional sites with technologies that include virtual environments, patient simulators, technical trainers, robotics, image-guidance devices and conferencing and debriefing capabilities. It also includes nine large conference rooms, a 22-seat, stepped-floor immersion videoconference room, locker rooms, offices and storage. A special feature of this training centre is the complete interconnectivity between conference rooms and surgical training areas to optimise sharing for remote teaching purposes.

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