IMSH 2020 Plenary Speaker: Cary Lohrenz

Submitted by: Janice Radway, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

I had the good fortune to attend the 2020 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare conference in San Diego this past January. Not only did I enjoy beautiful San Diego and the warm weather, but I took in a variety of keynote speakers and a number of inspiring workshops and talks.

The opening plenary speaker was Carey Lohrenz, who was the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy. From the moment she walked on stage to AC/DC’s “Back in Black” in her black leather jacket, Lohrenz commanded our attention. She spoke about her experience flying worldwide combat missions, and the adversity she faced as the first female in an all-male environment of fighter aviation. She described the dangerous feats these pilots face: going from 0 to 200 miles per hour in 2 seconds, feeling 8 times the force of gravity, as if you have an elephant sitting on you, and landing on an aircraft carrier in 1.2 seconds like a “controlled car crash”. Simulation is essential when training to be a fighter pilot. She quoted the statistic that there are 200,000 preventable errors a year, and shared that both of her parents died due to preventable errors. This experience has made her a fierce advocate for simulation.

Read more about Cary Lohrenz here.

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