Westinghouse College Prep Students Participate in Live Surgery Broadcast

Northwestern Medicine
For Students May 12, 2014
It’s a little incision that is making a big impact, and not just on a patient. 
A select group of Westinghouse College Prep students spent Monday morning observing a laparoscopic gallbladder removal with the same point of view as the surgeon, Nathaniel Soper, MD, Northwestern Medicine’s chair of surgery and director of minimally invasive surgery.

Soper performed the gallbladder removal at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, narrating into a microphone, while the students watched the broadcast in real time in a school classroom seven miles away on Chicago’s West Side.

“This is crystal clear,” Soper said. “The students see exactly what the surgeons see. It’s really made for this kind of video teaching.”

The Northwestern Medicine Scholars Program is a partnership between Northwestern Medicine and Westinghouse College Prep. It offers students from some of Chicago’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods the opportunity to work directly with physicians and staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital through opportunities like the live surgery broadcast, exposing them to medical careers in the context of an academic medical center.

 The May 12 surgery was Soper’s second broadcast with the students, who impressed him with their conscientious questions.

 “They seemed pretty savvy about what was going on,” Soper said, noting they received some training before the surgery on the role of the gall bladder in the body. “Their questions made sense. It was as though they were in college or med school. This is a really smart group of kids and they have really great technology in Westinghouse.”
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