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UCI School of Medicine opens newly renovated Medical Education Building

Posted: 2024-02-16

Source: UCI School of Medicine
News Type: 

2023 Medical Education Ribbon Cutting

On Nov. 7, 2023, the Office of Medical Education hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of construction on the Medical Education Building.

The Medical Education Building first opened in 2009 with a state-of-the-art clinical skills/simulation center and instructional spaces. To stay ahead of advancing modalities and innovative technologies for teaching, the School of Medicine prioritized major renovations of the Medical Education Building which began in September 2022 and were completed in three phases. UCI contracted with Gensler, the globally recognized architecture firm, to provide students a space to match their spirit and abilities while providing collaborative and effective study and learning spaces.

Fourth (Top) Floor

The new fourth-floor student lounge, study and relaxation spaces opened to medical students in August 2023. The area was built out with lockers for each student, study and relaxation areas, a large student lounge, a kitchen and dining nooks, as well as an updated makerspace equipped with 3D printers and crafting supplies. Additionally, the space contains student support offices that are co-located with the students so that they have convenient access to academic advising, student affairs and financial aid services.

The fourth floor is also home to the UCI Center for Artificial Intelligence in Diagnostic Medicine (CAIDM), which is now undertaking several projects that are driving the advancement of science and medicine in AI. Rounding out the top floor, the UCI Bioinformatics program, located on the other side of the student lounge, contributes to students’ competence in computing applied to biomedical problems and data, as well as exposing them to the fundamentals of the life sciences from a computer science perspective.

MedEd building fourth floor lounge space and dining nook


MedEd building fourth floor lounge space

Third Floor

In November 2023, the redesigned third floor opened with a large flat-floor active learning classroom with space to accommodate 150 students. The flat-floor feature is unlike stadium seating, allowing students and faculty to easily engage in small collaboration pods while still being within a large classroom setting.

The space also features 18 adjacent breakout rooms for small-group activities. These state-of-the-art rooms are connected via Zoom to the main lecture area to allow for truly interactive learning. Further, the Zoom capabilities enable students in Irvine to easily be connected to the teaching hospital, the UCI Medical Center in Orange, California, supporting greater clinical integration of the curriculum and creating opportunities for innovative modalities of teaching. Additional study and lounge spaces have been added to this floor, increasing the availability of dedicated student spaces within the Medical Education Building. The third floor is also home to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) lounge for students, as well as additional administrative and support offices.

MedEd building 3rd floor study spaces


MedEd building third floor classroom space

Second Floor

Over the last 10 years, UCI has evolved from a traditional, discipline-based structure to a systems-organized approach known as iTEACH (Technology-Enhanced, Activity Coordinated, Humanistic). To support the emphasis on clinical integration in the iTEACH curriculum, there is high-volume use of the Clinical Skills Center, the Simulation Center and the Ultrasound in Medical Education learning area on the second floor.

MedEd building clinical skills control center

Clinical Skills Center: This learning center contains 17 clinical exam rooms, 17 student stations, 14 monitor stations and a state-of-the-art command center. Within each exam room are two 360-degree ceiling-mounted cameras, omnidirectional hanging ceiling microphones, one desktop computer, one manual medical examination table, wall-mounted equipment and a bedside ultrasound machine. At each monitor station is one desktop computer, one headset and microphone, and a one-way glass window that allows the monitor to view exam rooms live. Three of the 17 exam rooms reflect the design of an acute care unit, containing suction devices, oxygen masks and other gases.

MedEd building clinical skills center

Simulation Center: The Simulation Center includes a full-scale operating room, emergency room trauma bay, obstetrics suite and critical care unit. Alongside the simulation suites are two dedicated debriefing rooms and a state-of-the-art command center. Each suite is equipped with 360-degree ceiling-mounted cameras, omnidirectional hanging ceiling microphones and wall-mounted equipment. The Simulation Center provides simulation-based educational programs for UCI medical students across their four years as well as UCI residents, fellows and faculty. Training is done in a safe simulated manner and is enhanced by using high-fidelity mannequins and educational task trainers.

MedEd Simulation Center

Ultrasound in Medical Education: The four-year integration of the curriculum, divided into three stages, helps medical students connect what they learn in basic science, anatomy and clinical foundations through simulation. Students gain skills in ultrasound across medical specialties, combining theory with hands-on practice. The curriculum also allows them to refine clinical skills, teach peers, master ultrasound-guided procedures and engage in research. The training received here ensures graduates are proficient in ultrasound and ready for modern healthcare.

First Floor

The main floor and entrance are where the Office of Medical Education is located. The first floor is also home to the Medical Education Media Studio, which is actively used to develop digital resources to support the curriculum.

Medical Education Building Outside

Ground Floor

In January 2024, the new, state-of-the-art Anatomy Lab opened for medical student instruction. The Anatomy Lab, which lived in the basement of the Med Surge II building for many years, is now co-located in the Medical Education Building with renovated active learning and student study spaces. The modernized lab includes surgical arms above each table that feature a light, camera and monitor, enabling content to be projected to and from each table. Students also have access to a new locker room adjacent to the lab with changing areas and showers.

2024 Medical Education Anatomy Lab