Health Team

Duke medical students get new home in hospital expansion

Posted February 11, 2013 5:30 p.m. EST
Updated February 12, 2013 12:22 p.m. EST

— For the first time, the doctors of tomorrow at Duke University have their own address – a 104,000-square-foot, $53 million state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Duke's medical center. 

"Our old educational space was pretty dated," said Dr. Nancy Andrews, dean of Duke's School of Medicine. "It was built in 1930, and it showed, I'm afraid."

"It was really nice to see this building come into fruition," said Tanmay Gokhale, a fourth-year medical student. "It was really everything we were hoping for and even more."

Gokhale and other students, staff and faculty members helped design the building, named the Trent Semans Center for Health Education, which features flexible learning spaces and patient simulation labs.

"There are walls that go up and down," said Dr. Edward Buckley, vice dean for education. "The chairs and furniture are not fixed in any one location."

The simulation labs are the "wave of the future," Buckley said. 

"You can really practice skills, practice procedures before you ever actually see a real patient," Gokhale said.

"It's designed not for the medical education of the past, but for medical education as we anticipate it might be in 2020 and beyond," Andrews added.

The facility bears the name of Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans, a key benefactor who died in January 2011 at age 91. 

"She meant so much to Duke and to Durham and to this state," Andrews said. "It's a real privilege for us to be able to honor her."