University of Wisconsin–Madison

Archive: Army Awards Dr. Carla Pugh $2 Million to Study Medical Skill Decline

Carla M. Pugh, MD, PhD, FACS, Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin, was awarded $2 million over three years to study how clinical skills decay when clinical personnel are called up for military service.

Dr. Pugh is vice chair of education and patient safety in the UW Department of Surgery and clinical director of the UW Health Simulation Program. In this study, she will develop simulation-based methods to assess common clinical skills, such as placing a Foley catheter or a central line or completing bowel surgery.

“This can be an issue when high-end medical personnel are deployed into military service, and it goes both ways: the skills they lose from civilian life and the military skills they need to quickly pick up,” she says. “For example, an Ob/Gyn who is sent to Afghanistan will be doing trauma work, not delivering babies.”

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