If you heard a bunch of high school studentsscream at the top of their lungs “Don’t kill the patient!” last week at thePenn Medicine Clinical Simulation Center at Rittenhouse, relax. Everyone isalive and well—it was just “Laparoscopic Olympics,” one of the many activitiesfrom the Perelman School of Medicine’s first ever Medical School camp designedto teach high school students what’s it like to be a doctor.
The friendly competition helped these 55medical hopefuls practice their minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy)skills, in the same space where residents perfect their surgical techniqueswith simulations before working with patients. The screamingwas to distract, and give them a dose of what’s it like to be in a stressfulsurgery room.
The task? Move little rubber, hollow blocksonto pegs with the grasper tools (which look like a pair of scissors with verytiny tips). But do it by relying on a live camera image being projected onto a screen in front of you. I tried it, and itwasn’t easy. And I can’t imagine someone yelling in my ear while doing it.
“This is our next group of surgeons anddentists and radiologists and nurses and internists,” said Gregg Lipschik, MD,manager of the program and co-director of the Sim Center. “They should see whatit’s like, and I think if we make it challenging and enjoyable, they’ll reallyget something out of it.”
It’s not all screaming and competition,though. In the four-week program over the summer, students from around theglobe—from New Jersey to Venezuela—were guided and taught by faculty and staffand given a taste of the world of medicine as they explore careerpossibilities, with lectures and lab exercises, like the pig suturing going on inthe room next to the Olympics.
Check out pictures from the day below, andfor more, read the stories by reporters from PhiladelphiaMagazine and KYWNewsradio/CBS who joined in on the fun that day.