When middle-school students seem unsure of their ability to pursue a career in health care, Allan Hamilton, MD, professor of surgery and director of the Arizona Simulation Technology and Education Center (ASTEC), has a quick response.
“Do you know how to play video games,” he asks. “Well, yeah, of course,” the student will say. “Well, that’s who we’re looking for now,” Hamilton replies. “People who are tech savvy, know how to be good members of a team, and are compassionate. If you meet those qualifications, you’re a candidate for a career in healthcare.”
The way young folks adapt to the virtual world of games like “Minecraft” and “Heroes of the Storm” seems to transfer well to practicing laparoscopy and other simulated procedures in the ASTEC lab.