It has been said that the reason doctors and surgeons have not embraced simulated training to the same degree as airline pilots is because they don’t “go down” with their patients. The implicit message is that pilots have an incentive to utilize the very best training tools.
This distinction is important because as 3-D display and virtual reality technology continues to improve it will soon reach a point where it is just as good if not better than current training techniques. The U.S. military has already embraced virtual reality training to prepare soldiers before they go into actual combat because it has been demonstrated to save lives. The same will soon be true in the health care industry, but first doctors and surgeons (and the medical institutions that train them) may need to unlearn the training methods that they have relied on for the past many decades.
This lesson in unlearning, however, is not limited to the health care sector. As this article suggests, innovative leaders in the automotive industry are already embracing 3-D and virtual reality technology. There is no reason educators and professionals in a host of other industries can’t do the same.