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Olympio and Panish
Dr. Michael Olympio, PSL founder, and Steve Panish (left), Facilities Planning, review floor plan.

The Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Patient Simulation Laboratory (PSL) is an ongoing teaching project that began in 1999, in the Department of Anesthesiology, under the leadership of Dr. Michael Olympio, with the support of the Baptist Medical Center and Wake Forest University Medical School. More than 7 years in the planning, the current facilities opened for action in May 2000. Many hospital and medical school departments take advantage of the unique training opportunities offered in the PSL (see User Groups section for complete listing). The PSL is now an integral part of the Anesthesiology Department’s Residency Program curriculum; exposing residents to a variety of uncommon but difficult to manage scenarios. Expansion of the physical facilities is on the horizon within the next few years, commiserate with the increase in users and simulation applications.

Initially, personal computer-based simulation was introduced into anesthesiology training programs, while full-scale human mannequins were under development. Airline and space simulation programs were emulated to train doctors for crisis management. As the technology improved and patient simulators were marketed commercially, allied health programs have also incorporated these simulators into their training. Today, our medical center offers this technology to a diverse group of medical and allied health professionals, to supplement and enhance conventional educational approaches.

The PSL cost over $600,000 to develop and nearly $300,000 annually to operate. Both the Wake Forest School of Medicine and North Carolina Baptist Hospital’s Inc. contributed to the initial purchase and construction. The Department of Anesthesiology provides faculty academic time to develop the laboratory. Major funding has come from the Datex-Ohmeda Corporation and Dräger Medical. Our center actively solicits contributions from the corporate and private sector. Whenever appropriate, user groups are asked to contribute to the financial integrity of the laboratory, such that it might continue to achieve its mission.


Quick Reference

Patient Simulation Lab
John Thomas, MD


Ashley Tonidandel, MD
Assistant Director


Michael Olympio, MD


Ian Saunders
Operations Manager


Sherry Meacham


Patient Simulation Laboratory
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Medical Center Blvd.
Winston-Salem, NC 27157
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MOCA® Simulation Course

We're excited to announce that the Sim Lab now offers MOCA® Certification Courses.  View a list of our current courses.

Last Updated: 05-05-2016
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