Debs Patten, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Sunderland.
Matthew Neville

First look inside University of Sunderland’s new medical centre upon completion

Work on the University of Sunderland’s new multi-million pound facility to help train the next generation of medical professionals is now complete.

A year in the making, the Cadaveric centre based on City Campus, further enhances the facilities at Sunderland’s School of Medicine, launched in 2018, providing a “great future for the teaching of anatomy”.

As well as providing training for other students within the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing, the centre will also benefit many of the region’s current surgeons and surgical trainees, providing vital facilities.

A key feature of the facility is the range of dedicated, “state-of-the-art” learning environments for staff and students, influencing the education of future generations of doctors, nurses and other key healthcare workers.

The Cadaveric centre has been established with the help of funding from the Sir James Knott Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation. An official opening takes place on March 2, with specially invited guests and partners from across the region and UK.

Debs Patten, Professor of Anatomy at the University, said: “The University has invested significantly in the design and build of our new facility to ensure the continued excellence of our anatomy teaching provision, which will be of huge benefit to our institution and indeed the wider region.”

“Digital resources are highly effective educational tools, but cannot reproduce the variability and complexity of the human body and for this reason, medical students and their educators consider cadaveric anatomy to be the gold standard for anatomy education.

“Most UK medical students will study cadaveric anatomy, in fact only a handful of UK medical schools do not offer cadaveric anatomy, but cadaveric provision for allied healthcare students is often limited. Our facility will offer cadaveric provision for our medical students and our allied healthcare students.”

The facility will permit learners to improve their depth perception, spatial orientation and visualisation of body structures below the skin.

Professor Patten added: “A hands-on experience uniquely provides authentic tactile information on tissue texture which, when coupled with 3D visualisation of anatomic structures, offers learners highly memorable learning experiences.

“In addition, cadaveric anatomy is often students’ first encounter with death and it provides educators with a unique opportunity to teach students about death and to respect their patient at all times, in life and in death.”

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