LAS VEGAS (AP) — The UNLV medical school is using a state-of-the art orthopedic surgery simulator to give its residents realistic operating room experiences.

University Department of Orthopedic Surgery Chair Dr. Michael Daubs likens the experience 20 orthopedic residents are getting to that of commercial airline pilots in training.

Daubs says flight simulation helps fledgling pilots practice and prepare for challenging scenarios before they take off. He says using a truly realistic simulator known as the ArthroS, developed by the Swiss company VirtaMed, to train up-and-coming surgeons only makes sense.

The VirtaMed ArthoS comes close to replicating the structures of the human body. The pressures residents feel when they encounter tendons, cartilage or bone are nearly identical to those they would discern if operating on a live patient.