Medical students and researchers at Nova Southeastern University are stepping into the virtual world to better serve patients. Using Second Life®, students at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine create avatars that fly into a virtual clinic where students can practice communication skills and diagnostic procedures on virtual world patients.
The program allows students to practice in a relaxed environment where they are not afraid to make mistakes. Researchers at NSU are taking Second Life® to a new level, they received a grant to study this virtual world on amputees. Sandra Winkler, Ph.D., was awarded $1 million grant. The idea, to educate and connect amputees from all over the world, it’s a support group with no time or space limitations.
They can choose to be an amputee or have their arms and legs, they can choose to be in a wheelchair or they can choose not to. It is also part of a research project working with military spouses in this virtual world and helping amputees and their families plan their home modifications using this virtual world.