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'It’s kind of nice to see how we handle the stress' | Mass casualty simulations in Kearny Mesa used to train medical students

The medical students are being mentored by doctors and surgeons from hospitals around San Diego County.

SAN DIEGO — Forty-two medical students from around the country are receiving valuable training this week in Kearny Mesa, where they treat patients during simulated mass casualty situations. 

CBS 8 spent the day at Strategic Operations, formerly a TV and movie studio for Stu Segal Productions, where the training took place. 

“This kind of training, hyper-realistic training under very realistic conditions allows you to inoculate yourself against stress so you perform a lot better,” said Kit Lavell, Executive Vice President of Strategic Operations. 

The medical students are being mentored by doctors and surgeons from hospitals around San Diego County. 

“We address their resiliency, hardiness, and their emotional quotient that is actually lacking in medical education,” said Dr. Dean Gubler, director of military medicine at Rocky Vista University. “They’re learning how to assess critically injured patients, to do the immediate life-saving procedures, that is stop the bleeding, obtain airway, and find injuries that they can treat.” 

Cheyenne Wong, a medical student from Rocky Vista University in Utah, learned how to insert a chest tube on a patient brought into their simulated emergency room. 

“We got some trauma patients in, and the chaos started,” said Wong. “People trying to run around, trying to help each other out. It’s kind of nice to see how we handle the stress.” 

Medical student Michael Higham played the role of an injured victim.  

He said this training will benefit him for the rest of his career. 

“It’ll help us keep calm, cool, and collected being able to experience this,” said Higham. “Having the opportunity to do it with lower stakes so that when we get into a real situation with higher stakes, that we’ve gone through the process.  We’ve seen these things before and we’re ready to handle them.” 

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