Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Perelman Students at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress in San Fran

For medical students interested in surgery and surgical subspecialties, the annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) is a great opportunity to see current trends in surgery and network with program directors and big names in the field. This year, ACS was held in beautiful San Francisco, CA.
There's a conference on the West coast when a
Nor'easter is scheduled to hit Philly? Sign me up!

Perelman students at the Penn Surgery reception 
The Perelman School of Medicine was well represented with 4 medical students presenting their research at various sessions in the conference. Surgical education was a dominant theme for Penn Surgery at the conference with 3 students and a Penn surgery resident (also a former Penn medical student) presenting projects in education. Ted Gomez and I presented our work on intraoperative education for robotic surgery. Agnew Surgical Society Vice-President Rachel Yang spoke about her trial using simulation training to decrease infections related to improper placement of urinary catheters. Agnew Surgical Society President Jarrod Predina spoke about his translational research investigating the role of immune therapy in esophageal cancer.

It's not SF without the Golden Gate Bridge
The Department of Surgery holds its annual Penn Surgery reception for faculty members, residents, and Penn Surgery alumni during the week of the ACS conference. The event was a great opportunity for students as it allowed us to meet and greet not only with current Penn surgeons but also with former Penn trainees who are now chairs and chiefs at other famed institutions across the US.

Every year, Dr. Rosser of Morehouse Medical College holds a competition at the American College of Surgeons called the "Top Gun Laparoscopic Skills Challenge." I first saw the competition as a senior in college, when the minimally invasive surgery fellow in my lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center won the contest. Since then, I have wanted to learn how to perform the laparoscopic surgery tasks tested in the challenge. Thanks to the mentorship of Drs. Noel Williams, Kristoffel Dumon, and Kenric Murayama, as well as the support of residents and fellows in the Department of Surgery, I was able to practice for the contest at the Penn Clinical Simulation Center using high tech virtual reality laparoscopic surgery trainers. The contest was held over the first 3 days of the conference, and Penn Surgery made it to the finals ahead of ~30 medical students, residents, fellows, and attending surgeons who competed. In the final round of competition, I was fortunate to have performed well enough to win 1st place, beating out a chief resident and a 3rd year surgical resident from a different institution. I'm certainly grateful to Penn for providing me with the training environment to be the first medical student to win the Top Gun contest since its introduction to ACS in 1996.
With Dr. James Rosser, creator of the
Top Gun Laparoscopic Skills Challenge
The trip to ACS wasn't all work though. When in a city like San Francisco, one has to take advantage of all the great sights and food available in the city. We certainly took full advantage of our free time to explore San Francisco and all of the great food it had to offer.

Agnew Surgical Society: Vice President Rachel Yang,
President Jarrod Predina, former president
(current 3rd year Penn resident) Dr. Olugbenga Okusanya

Monkeying around in SF Chinatown

There was an abundance of delicious
Japanese food in Nihonmachi (Japantown)
Perelman students getting dinner with a Penn Surgery resident and
Dr. Murayama, chief of surgery at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center