Alumna Accompanies Students on Surgical Robotics Field Trip
Won through the 2017 Knight in Havana Auction, this field trip brought students Anya Adjroud ’20, Claire Coats ’18, Alex Mayorga ’20, Theo Sun ’20 and Nicholas Truong ’20 and alumna Susan Fleet Welsch ’63 together on Saturday, April 21, 2018 for a hands-on experience with the latest in surgical robotics and simulators at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
Internationally recognized expert and pioneer in the field, Dr. Santiago Horgan, took the group through the Center for the Future of Surgery, where they each had a chance to try out the same equipment that surgical students use to hone their skills.
Claire described one of the activities as “performing a colonoscopy on a bell pepper, removing the seeds as polyps.” In another demonstration, they were able to work with the Da Vinci robotic surgery machine (a nearly $2 million piece of equipment) used to suture internal wounds or openings, creating a more sanitary closure for a patient.
The Da Vinci robot left quite an impression on the students. Claire and Alex both said that was a favorite part of the experience; Alex described what it was like, saying, “Practicing suturing with the Da Vinci robot was something I never imagined I would be able to do. Once I sat down and latched my fingers into the machine and peered through the robot's advanced imagery technology, I felt as if I was in the future. If you have ever seen the movie, ‘Pacific Rim’, it felt as if I was controlling one of the robots. The machine responded to my every move instantaneously, no matter what I did. I even successfully completed a suture on my first try!”
The entire group was grateful for the opportunity, and who knows? Perhaps one of these students is a future surgeon, or a future robotics developer!
The Bishop’s School is an independent, coeducational college-preparatory day school for students in grades six through twelve who live throughout San Diego County. Founded in 1909, the School is affiliated with the Episcopal church.